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Vital Signs


Vital Signs

Vital Signs: Foreign Trade Cut Into First-Quarter Growth

An unexpected widening in the February trade deficit is leading economists to lower their estimate for growth in the first-quarter gross domestic product.
The nominal trade deficit for goods and services increased to $42.3 billion in February, from $39.3 billion in January, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/04/03/vital-signs-foreign-trade-cut-into-first-quarter-growth/?mod=WSJ_EC_RT_Blog

Vital Signs: Winter Skewed Who Hired in First Quarter

One advantage the ADP jobs report has over the Labor Department‘s monthly nonfarm payrolls is that ADP breaks down private payrolls by size of firm. The latest numbers show that so far in 2014, job creation is more evenly distributed by firm size, but that might reflect the vagaries of this harsh winter.

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/04/02/vital-signs-winter-skewed-who-hired-in-first-quarter/?mod=marketbeat

Vital Signs: Construction Spending Holds Up

After a winter’s pause in January, builders were back on the job in February.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that total construction spending edged up 0.1% in February after a 0.2% decline in January. Despite the harsher-than normal weather this winter, building outlays in January and February are up almost 9% from the same time in 2013.

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/04/01/vital-signs-construction-spending-holds-up/?mod=WSJBlog

Vital Signs: U.S. Oil Production Concentrated in Few States

Rising domestic oil production has enabled the U.S. to become more energy independent and has been a key reason why the trade deficit hasn’t skyrocketed in recent years. The smaller trade gap helps growth in the entire economy, but those oil rigs are located in a narrow section of the nation.

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/03/31/vital-signs-u-s-oil-production-concentrated-in-few-states/?mod=WSJBlog

Vital Signs: Income Gets a Lift Thanks to Government Assistance

The 0.3% increases in personal income posted in January and February look positive for the future of the consumer sector until one looks at what’s driving the gains.
Almost half of the increase in personal income in the past two months has come from bigger government transfer payments even though that category only accounts for about 16% of all personal income (adjusted for employer and employee payrolls taxes paid).

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/03/28/vital-signs-income-gets-a-lift-thanks-to-government-assistance/?mod=WSJBlog

Vital Signs: Housing’s Recovery Is Losing Momentum

The National Association of Realtor’s pending home sales index unexpectedly slipped 0.8% in February, pushing the index 10.5% below its year-ago level. And with the January index revised down, pending home sales have fallen for eight consecutive months.

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/03/27/vital-signs-housings-recovery-is-losing-momentum/?mod=blogmod

Vital Signs: Still No Momentum in Business Spending

Makers of capital equipment are still waiting for their break-out moment.
The latest data on business spending remains sluggish. Shipments of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft edged up 0.5% in February, but that followed a 1.4% drop in January. The numbers suggest the business equipment sector is contributing almost nothing to first-quarter gross domestic product growth.

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/03/26/vital-signs-still-no-momentum-in-business-spending/?mod=WSJBlog
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