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Weekly Economic Update, October 3

on Oct 5, 2016 in Announcements: Financial Planning, General Parrott Insurance News

NO ADVANCE IN CONSUMER SPENDING
Personal spending was flat in August even as personal incomes rose 0.2%. These numbers from the Department of Commerce fell short of expectations: economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.2% gain in both categories. In other news linked to consumer spending, the federal government revised second-quarter GDP up to 1.4% in its third estimate; it had previously put Q2 growth at 1.1%.1

HOUSEHOLD CONFIDENCE IMPROVES
September brought a big jump in the Conference Board’s closely watched consumer confidence index, which rose 3.0 points to 104.1. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index ended September at 91.2, up from 89.8 at the end of August; the main factor in that gain was an improved outlook among higher-income households.1,2

NEW HOME SALES DIP 7.6%
This housing indicator tends to be very volatile, and this August retreat follows a 13.8% July advance. The median new home price was down 5.3% in August from a year earlier, the Census Bureau noted. Looking at other real estate data, the July edition of the 20-city S&P/Case-Shiller home price index showed a 5.0% annual increase in existing home values, ticking down from 5.1% in June; the National Association of Realtors said that pending home sales fell 2.4% in August.1,3

MINOR GAINS IN A WEEK OF MAJOR UPS & DOWNS
The last week of September saw the three major U.S. equity indices advance. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.26%; the S&P 500 gained 0.17%; and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.12%. The September 30 settlements: Dow, 18,308.15; S&P, 2,168.27; Nasdaq, 5,312.00.4

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