Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/28/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Hiring spurs on consumer spending, but at slow pace

The U.S. economy has grown in the first few months of 2013, but at a very slow, sluggish rate of 0.4 percent. Employers are hiring, people are buying, but it's just not enough. Hope springs eternal that growth will pick up shortly.

Employers have added an average of 200,000 jobs a month since November, lowering the unemployment rate in February to 7.7 percent, a four-year low.

Employers have added an average of 200,000 jobs a month since November, lowering the unemployment rate in February to 7.7 percent, a four-year low.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/28/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Business & Economics

Keywords: Economic growth, hring, tax cuts, spending cuts, consumer spending


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Commerce Department, the economy grew at an annual rate of 0.4 percent in the October-December quarter, slightly better than the previous estimate of 0.1 percent growth. This proved of stronger business investment and export sales.

Analysts believe the economy is growing at a rate of around 2.5 percent in the current January-March quarter, which ends shortly.

Employers have been hiring more workers, and have kept consumers spending this year. A rebound in company stockpiling, further gains in housing and more business spending also likely drove faster growth in the first quarter.

There was no disguising the fact that the 0.4 percent growth rate was the weakest quarterly performance in almost two years, following a much faster 3.1 percent increase in the third quarter. The fourth quarter was hurt by the sharpest fall in defense spending in 40 years.

The economy grew 2.2 percent in 2012 after a 1.8 percent increase in 2011 and a 2.4 percent advance in 2010. Since the recession ended in mid-2009, the economy has been expanding at sub-par rates as a string of problems from higher gas prices to Europe's debt crisis have acted as a drag on the U.S. economy.

Tax increases that began with the New Year, coupled with automatic government spending cuts totaling $85 billion started to take effect on March 1. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the combination of tax increases and spending cuts could trim economic growth this year by about 1.5 percentage points. The CBO is predicting just 1.5 percent growth for 2013.

The good news is that the economy is showing signs of holding its own against the fiscal drag.

Employers have added an average of 200,000 jobs a month since November, lowering the unemployment rate in February to 7.7 percent, a four-year low.

Economists expect similar job gains in March, in part because a measure of unemployment benefit applications fell this month to a five-year low.

Home sales were also up. The sale of previously occupied homes rose in February to the highest level in nearly three years, while builders broke ground on more houses and apartments. Annual home prices jumped in January by the most since June 2006, according to a closely watched measure.

Stock prices have surged, with the Standard & Poor's 500 index was within two points of its all-time high.

All of that is making consumers feel wealthier, which could lead to more spending. Consumer spending drives 70 percent of economic activity.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Business & Economics

Are you ready? Economic analysts predict bear market by end of 2014 Watch

Image of Economic analysts are predicting a significant drop in the market, which may be as high as 60%.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two financial experts announced on August 27 that markets may face a fall of up to 60% by the end of 2014. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - David Tice, the president of Tice Capital and founder of the Prudent Bear Fund, reported that a jolt to international ... continue reading


Oh really Obama? President claims economic success while population dependent on food stamps hit all time high Watch

Image of The number of Americans on food stamps has not decreased since 2011, despite claims from President Obama that the U.S. economy has recovered under his policies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Democrats are facing a tough midterm election, and with less than three months to go the party is scrambling to prop up the image of the U.S. economy in the minds of disgruntled voters. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Yet one of the quickest shorthand ... continue reading


Here comes a boom! $7 trillion in untapped funds to flood global market Watch

Image of A report suggests that corporations and equity firms hold nearly $7 trillion in cash reserves that could bolster the world's economy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new boost to the global economic recovery may happen soon, as corporate giants and private equity firms prepare to tap into cash reserves of $7 trillion, stored since the current financial crisis began back in 2008. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Investors ... continue reading


OBAMA PARTIES AS ROME BURNS: U.S. wages down by 23 percent - while president takes a vacation Watch

Image of The timing of Obama's swank vacation has even the president's supporters worried.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lots of negative news to go around - Ebola seems to be spreading worldwide, Islamic State is increasing its stranglehold on Iraq, a much beloved comedian and screen actor is found dead at home, an apparent suicide - U.S. President Barack Obama is in Martha's ... continue reading


Religious orders NEED to understand economics Watch

Image of A letter from two high-ranking Catholic officials requests that religious orders gain a better understanding of finance and economics.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a letter addressed to members of religious communities, Vatican officials requested that these groups should not be ignorant of economic realities connected to community life and a mission of serving the world in the name of the Church. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


THANKS, BARACK! Federal debt up $7 TRILLION under your watch. Watch

Image of By the close of business on July 31, 2014, it had risen to $17,687,136,723,410.59, up $7,060,259,674,497.51 since Obama first inauguration day.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thanks, Barack! The total federal debt of the U.S. government has increased more than $7 trillion during the slightly more than five and a half years Barack Obama has been president. That's more than the debt increased under all U.S. presidents from George ... continue reading


Live Catholic - Shop Catholic - Guess who now accepts checks?

Image of Catholic Shopping .com now accepts checks via Dwolla!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Guess who now accepts checks? Catholic Shopping .com does! This new option now makes it easier for you to control how you pay for the things you like. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Catholic Shopping .com is now accepting checks via the online processor, Dwolla. ... continue reading


Unemployment in the U.S. - never went away! Many still without work Watch

Image of The number of Americans not in the labor force dropped only slightly in July, down 119,000 from the 92,120,000 Americans not in the labor force in June.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It may have fallen off the radar of many news outlets - but joblessness is still a BIG problem here in the United States. Since President Obama took office in January 2009, 11.4 million Americans 16 years and older have left the workforce, according to data ... continue reading


INDEBTEDNESS: One in three U.S. adults have 'debt in collections' Watch

Image of One in three American adults are so far behind in personal debt that many of their accounts have been referred to collections.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Some call it the American way, and it's become a most uncomfortable fact of life for many Americans. Personal debt is at an all-time high, and at least one in three Americans, 77 million people, have had their debt referred to collection agencies as a result. ... continue reading


LUMP OF COAL - LITERALLY! Coal companies pushed to brink of insolvency by Obama policies Watch

Image of The very fuel that fed the Industrial Revolution and powered U.S. growth for much of the past century, the coal industry finds itself on the brink of insolvency, with many companies going out of business.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Dealing with cheap natural gas and tighter regulation, the U.S. coal industry has fallen on hard times. The very fuel that fed the Industrial Revolution and powered U.S. growth for much of the past century, the coal industry finds itself on the brink of ... continue reading


All Business & Economics News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 1:26-31
26 Consider, brothers, how you were called; not many ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:12-13, 18-19, 20-21
12 How blessed the nation whose God is Yahweh, the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 25:14-30
14 'It is like a man about to go abroad who summoned ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 30th, 2014 Image

St. Rumon
August 30: St. Rumon, also known as Ruan, Ronan, and Ruadan, was probably a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter