personal income

Six Upbeat Money Trends of 2012

Between the elections, the fiscal cliff, and the endless battles over taxes, expenditures, and budget issues both big and small, 2012 has been a difficult year. But, amid all the sound and fury, there have also been promising developments on the financial front. Here's a look at a few of our favorite money stories of this year.

Consumer Spending, Personal Income Up in November

Consumers spent and earned more in November, reflecting a rebound from the disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy. The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.4 percent compared with October. Personal income jumped 0.6 percent, the biggest gain in 11 months.

U.S. Consumer Spending Rose 0.8 Percent in September

Americans increased their spending in September at twice the rate that their income grew, a sign of confidence in the economy. Still, consumers made up the difference by saving less for a third straight month, a troubling trend.

Why a Little Inflation Is a Good Thing for Americans

Inflation has inched higher in the past six months, but that's not a danger sign, but rather a harbinger of improving economic conditions and a strengthening recovery. And that, in turn, should lead to higher wages and more hiring in the year ahead.

What Obama Really Needs: Robust Income Growth

As much as the market and Corporate America may like what they heard in the president's speech Tuesday night, history shows Obama's reelection in 2012 remains pinned to boosting income growth to at least 3%. Problem is, right now it's running at just 1.4%.

A Dose of Bah, Humbug for Holiday Sales Growth

Major retailers are reporting healthy gains in November revenues, adding more evidence that holiday sales will be significantly higher than last year. But reading that as a sign of a wider economic recovery may be giving too much credit to what turns out to be a tiny sliver of U.S. GDP.

Weak Income and Spending Data May Push Fed to Move

September's personal income and spending report provided more evidence of a U.S. economy that's suffering from a lack of demand. The poor report will likely support the argument of Fed officials who want to keep interest rates low and employ more quantitative easing.

Poorer Households Give Consumer Sentiment a Boost

September's consumer sentiment level unexpectedly rose to 68.2 from its preliminary 66.6 reading. However, the entire gain came from more positive responses among households earning under $75,000 -- those who wouldn't be affected by a failure to extend the Bush income tax cuts for the rich.

U.S. Factory Orders Dropped Again in June

Factory orders fell 1.2% in June, well below a survey estimate of a 0.5% drop, marking two down months in a row. Even excluding the often-volatile transportation component (including airplanes and cars), orders fell 1.1% in June.

Consumer Spending and Personal Incomes Both Flat in June

Consumer spending and personal incomes were both unchanged in June after rising 0.1% and 0.3% respectively in May, the Commerce Department said in a statement. "Consumers are still hunkered down," Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody%u2019s told Bloomberg News before the report. "The second half of this year we%u2019re going to see slower spending."

U.S. Savings Rate Hits 4% in May as Incomes Rise

The U.S. savings rate rose to an eight-month high of 4% in May, the Commerce Department said, as a 0.4% rise in average incomes outpaced a 0.2% rise in spending. But that caution on the part of consumers to spend, while good for the nation in the long term, may slow the economic recovery.

U.S. Consumer Spending and Personal Income Rose in May

U.S. consumer spending rose in May, a sign consumers may be gaining confidence in the economic recovery. Purchases gained 0.2 percent from a month earlier, while personal income advanced 0.4 percent, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said on its website. Personal saving rose to 4 percent of disposable income.

Personal Income, Spending Edge Higher in January

Real consumer spending rose 0.3%, its largest monthly increase in about two years, suggesting that Americans may becoming more confident about the economy and more willing to make purchases. Personal incomes also rose.

U.S. Factory Index Rises for Sixth Straight Month

The new year in manufacturing started auspiciously as the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index jumped almost 4 percentage points to 58.4% -- the fastest expansion pace since 2004 -- from a revised 54.9 in December. Further, the closely watched new orders component also rose.