Monthly Archives: August 2014

Spending Falters, but Consumer Confidence Reaches a 7-Year High

[08-29-14]  Consumer spending fell in July for the first time in six months, but a measure of confidence among households hit a seven-year high in August, suggesting the retrenchment would be temporary.

A third report on Friday showed a sharp acceleration in factory activity in the Midwest this month, a further sign that the economy remains on solid ground.

“The weakness in spending will quickly subside this fall” as momentum builds from promising signs like the surging stock market, rising home prices and an improving job market, said Michael Woolfolk, global markets strategist at BNY Mellon in New York.


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Economic Data Points to Upward Trajectory

[08/28/14]  The United States economy grew faster than first thought last quarter, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, the latest in a series of signals that point to a period of sustainable growth ahead. Increased investment by businesses and a slightly improved trade picture prompted the revision, which lifted the estimated annual rate of growth in April, May and June to 4.2 percent, up from the government’s initial reading of 4 percent in late July. Since the economy emerged from the recession five years ago, companies have been hesitant to spend heavily on new capacity, but these figures and other recent data indicate that is finally changing. “Not only...
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Fed Dissenters Increasingly Vocal About Inflation Fears

[08-20-14]  An increasingly vocal minority of Federal Reserve officials want the central bank to retreat more quickly from its stimulus campaign, arguing that the bank has largely exhausted its ability to improve economic conditions.

The debate, reflected in an account of the Fed’s most recent policy-making meeting published on Wednesday, is likely to dominate the gathering of central bankers and economists at Jackson Hole, Wyo., Thursday through Saturday.

Fed officials are convinced that the economy is gaining strength after the years of false starts, but a majority of policy makers, led by the chairwoman, Janet L. Yellen, favors a slow retreat...

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