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Consumer Spending Weakest in 8 Months Despite Solid Income Growth

Consumer spending grew at the weakest pace in 6 months in March, despite solid income growth and good news on a key inflation reading in the government's latest measure of the U.S. economy. The weak spending came even as the report showed individual incomes jumped 0.7% in March. 

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Consumer Spending, Personal Incomes Rise; Inflation Rises Fastest in 6 Months

Personal income increased $65.4 billion, or 0.6% in February while , consumer spending also rose by 0.6% or $55.5 billion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Private wage and salary increased $19.3 billion in February, compared with an increase of $64.9 billion in January because of bonus payments in January.

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Economy This Week: Productivity Up 2.6% in 2006; Consumer Credit at Record $2.4 trillion

Among the key US economic indicators this week: ISM services index rose to 59; productivity grew a healthy 3% annual rate in Q4; consumer credit surged 4.5% to a record $2.4 trillion in 2006; initial jobless claims increased 3,000 last week; and January retails chain store sales jumped a strong 3.7%

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2006 Personal Savings Rate Was at a 74-Year Low

Personal savings rate for all of 2006 declined to a negative 1%, lower than a negative 0.4% in 2005 and was the lowest since a negative 1.5% savings rate in 1933 during the Depression, according to data from the Commerce Department.

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Gadgets Boost December Retail Sales Rise at Fastest Rate in 5 Months 

U.S. retail sales rose 0.9% in December, the strongest pace in five months, to $369.9 billion. driven by strong 3% jump in electronic gadget sales, according to the Commerce Department. The increase was better than the 0.7% advance that economists had forecast. 

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U.S. Consumer Borrowing Jumps at 6.2% in November

U.S. consumer borrowing in November rose at an annual rate of 6.2%, the biggest increase since a 6.8% rise in August, according to the Federal Reserve. 

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U.S. Economic Indicators This Week: Home Sales Up; Confidence Rose; Jobs Strong

This week saw a slew of good economic indicators in U.S., as consumer confidence jumped at an 8 month high, new homes sales and existing homes sales showing positive turns, and the job market resilient with only 1,000 rise in jobless claims. 

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Personal Spending Rose 0.5%; Income Up 0.3% in November

Personal income increased $33.8 billion, or 0.3 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI) increased $27.0 billion, or 0.3 percent, in November, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $50.5 billion, or 0.5 percent. 

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The Top 1% Pay 35%; The Bottom 30% Pay Nothing

The IRS's annual study of income tax data for 2004, just released, has some interesting and insightful findings. Wall Street Journal ran an article on it today. 

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Growing Rich-Poor Divide Unites Americans: Poll

Almost three-quarters of Americans believe inequality is a major issue, versus 24% who don't think so, according to a new Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll. The anxiety about the growing rich-poor divide unites Americans, crossing income and political divisions:

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