Monthly Archives: December 2012

Housing and Factory Data Point to Economic Gains

Contracts for home resales hit a two-and-a-half-year high in November and factory activity in the Midwest expanded this month, suggesting some economic strength despite the threat of tighter fiscal policy. The National Association of Realtors said on Friday that its pending home sales index, based on contracts signed last month, increased 1.7 percent to 106.4, the highest level since April 2010, when the homebuyer tax credit expired. November was the third consecutive month of gains for signed contracts, which become sales after a month or two. There was a 5 percent rise in October. A separate report showed that the Institute for Supply Management’s Chicago business barometer rose to 51.6 in December, from...
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Sandy Drags Down US Private Jobs Growth

Superstorm Sandy, which hit the northeast US in late October, hampered growth in private sector jobs last month as companies were temporarily forced to close operations. Businesses added 118,000 new jobs in November, ADP, the payroll processor, said on Wednesday. While the report contained upward revisions to the previous two months, November’s figure came in well below October’s 157,000 and economists’ expectations of 125,000 new jobs.
 Mark Zandi – chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, a subsidiary of the rating agency – said: “Sandy wreaked havoc on the job market in November, slicing an estimated 86,000 jobs from payrolls. The manufacturing, retailing, leisure and hospitality and temporary help industries were...
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California Predicts $1bn Budget Surplus

After a decade marred by ballooning budget deficits, rising unemployment and swinging cuts in public services, California’s economy may have finally turned a corner. The state was hit hard by the financial crisis, with the rate of mortgage foreclosures and unemployment much higher than the national average. Regular budget deficits forced the state to slash public services and two years ago it even had to offer IOUs to its creditors in lieu of cash. But jobs growth in the Golden State, an economy larger than those of India or Russia, has outpaced the national trend in the US in recent months. California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office is projecting a...
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