Content Tagged As commerce_department

2 years 8 months ago

Record year for retail sales

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Retail sales barely rose in December, but the gain was enough to lift sales to a record level for 2011. It marked the largest annual increase in more than a decade. Sales inched up 0.1 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted $400.6 billion, The Commerce...

4 years 1 month ago

Consumer spending and personal incomes both weak

The pace of consumer spending stalled in June and personal incomes failed to increase, further evidence that the economy slowed significantly in the spring. The Commerce Department say personal spending was unchanged in June, the third straight month of lackluster consumer demand. Incomes were flat as well, the weakest...

4 years 3 months ago

Home construction sinks, building permits down

Home construction plunged last month to the lowest level since December as builders scaled back without a federal tax credit to lure buyers. Building permits also fell, a sign the construction industry won't fuel the economic recovery. The Commerce Department says construction of new homes and apartments fell...

4 years 4 months ago

Consumer spending posts weak April reading

Consumer spending in April turned in the weakest performance in seven months, while incomes posted a tiny advance. The Commerce Department says consumer spending was unchanged last month. Economists had expected a 0.3 percent rise. Personal incomes rose 0.4 percent, less than the 0.5 percent gain economists had...

4 years 4 months ago

Expiring credits push new home sales

Sales of new homes posted another large gain in April as buyers rushed to sign contracts before government tax credits expired. The Commerce Department says sales of new single-family homes jumped 14.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000 units. The April gain followed a 29.8 percent...

4 years 4 months ago

Home construction up, building permits fall

Construction of new homes rose more than expected in April, but new building permits fell sharply, signaling that the building industry's rebound could be short-lived. The Commerce Department says construction of new homes and apartments rose 5.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 672,000. The...

4 years 7 months ago

New home sales fall to record low

Sales of new homes plunged to a record low in January, underscoring the formidable challenges facing the housing industry as it tries to recover from the worst slump in decades. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that new home sales dropped 11.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual...

4 years 7 months ago

Hope for the economy? Retail sales up

Retail sales posted a better-than-expected increase in January, a welcome development that could mean stronger economic growth in coming months. The Commerce Department said Friday that retail sales increased by 0.5 percent last month, the best showing since November and higher than the 0.3 percent increase economists had expected....

4 years 9 months ago

November housing construction up 8.9 percent

Construction of new homes, helped by better weather, rebounded in November following a setback in the previous month. The gain is a hopeful sign that the housing recovery is continuing, a development viewed as critical to lifting the overall economy out of recession. The Commerce Department says construction of new...

4 years 9 months ago

October trade deficit drops to $32.9 billion

The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in October as exports surged to the highest level in nearly a year. Growing exports, boosted by a weaker dollar, are expected to boost demand for American manufactured goods in coming months and provide important strength to the overall economic recovery. The Commerce Department...

4 years 10 months ago

Imported oil sends trade deficit soaring

The U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in September as foreign oil prices rose to the highest level in nearly a year, swamping a fifth consecutive gain in exports. Economists expect a rebounding global economy will keep pushing demand for exports higher, helping to bolster the U.S. recovery. The...

4 years 10 months ago

Trio of strong economic reports lift hopes for recovery

A trio of better-than-expected economic reports are boosting hopes for the fledgling economic recovery. A closely followed private sector gauge of manufacturing activity is showing growth. The Institute for Supply Management says its manufacturing index read 55.7 last month, compared with 52.6 in September. It's the third straight reading above...

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