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U.S. Manufacturing Expands;


"The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded further in June, driven by the fastest growth in output and new orders in over four years, an industry report showed on Tuesday.


Financial data firm Markit said its final U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to 57.3 in June, the highest reading since May 2010. The preliminary read for the index was 57.5.

A reading above 50 signals expansion in economic activity.

"Business was booming at U.S. goods producers in June," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.

"Factory output, order books and payroll numbers rose at some of the fastest rates weve seen since the recession, rounding off the best quarter for four years in terms of manufacturing expansion."

A read on employment showed continued growth, and was slightly higher from the previous month."

 

 

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"The most striking fact about the cost of the war in Iraq has been the extent to which it has been kept "off the books" of the government's ledgers and hidden from the American people. This was done by design. A fundamental assumption of the Bush administration's approach to the war was that it was only politically sustainable if it was portrayed as near-costless to the American public and to key constituencies in Washington. The dirty little secret of the Iraq war – one that both Bush and the war hawks in the Democratic party knew, but would never admit – was that the American people would only support a war to get rid of Saddam Hussein if they could be assured that they would pay almost nothing for it.


The most obvious way in which the true cost of this war was kept hidden was with the use of supplemental appropriations to fund the occupation. By one estimate, 70% of the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003 and 2008 were funded with supplemental or emergency appropriations approved outside the Pentagon's annual budget. These appropriations allowed the Bush administration to shield the Pentagon's budget from the cuts otherwise needed to finance the war, to keep the Pentagon's pet programs intact and to escape the scrutiny that Congress gives to its normal annual regular appropriations.

With the Iraq war treated as an "off the books" expense, the Pentagon was allowed to keep spending on high-end military equipment and cutting-edge technology. In fiscal terms, it was as if the messy wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were never happening."

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/11/us-public-defrauded-hidden-cost-iraq-war

 

 

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RAI$E$ MORE Likely!!!!

July 21, 2014
 

"Forty-three percent of economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics said their firms have increased wages in the last three months. That's up from last year, when only 19% of economists were reporting wage gains.


Even if wages aren't going up at your workplace, the tide of cutting wages might be done. No one reported pay cuts at their firm, while 57% said wages were flat.

As for the future, 35% of economists said they expect their firms to raise wages in the next three months with the other expecting wages to stay the same.

While the survey is encouraging, other data show wages are rising but not enough to keep up with rising prices. In fact, once inflation is factored into the equation, so-called "real wages" were actually 0.1% lower in May, than they were a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has said she wants to see wages rise faster than inflation, this year, so households experience a real increase in their take-home pay.

"If we were to fail to see that, frankly, I would worry about downside risk to consumer spending," she said at a press conference in June.
"

 

 

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Consumer Confidence JUMPS To 90.9!!!

July 29, 2014


"U.S. consumers are more confident about the economy than they have been in nearly seven years.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its confidence index rose to 90.9 in July from an upwardly revised 86.4 in June. The July reading is the highest since October 2007, two months before the Great Recession officially began.

It was the third straight increase in the index. Economists said that strong job growth has helped boost consumers' assessment of current conditions and also improved their outlook on jobs and the economy.

"Americans felt a heck of a lot more confident in July," said Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. She said that part of the confidence boost likely came from declining gas prices.

Conference Board economist Lynn Franco said that the improvements in consumers' confidence and expectations about the future indicate that the recent strengthening in overall economic growth should continue in the second half of the year.

Confidence has BEEN rising since bottoming in February 2009 at 25.3. The index is now well above last year's average of 72.3 and with July's gain has now returned a level above 90, where it often hovered before the recession.

Consumers' attitudes are closely watched because their spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

For July, consumer assessment of the labor market improved with those saying that jobs were plentiful increasing to 15.9 percent, up from 14.6 percent.

Consumers' expectations about the future were also more optimistic with those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increasing to 19.1 percent, up from 16.3 percent in June."

 

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/07/29/us-consumer-confidence-rises-to-0-in-july-strongest-reading-since-october-2007.html

 

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Wall $treet UP On GDP Data!!!!
July 30, 2014

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"U.S. stocks were boosted Wednesday by some bulli$h earning$ and a read on second-quarter economic growth that came in much stronger than expected, overshadowing a weak report on the labor market.

Gross domestic product grew at a 4 percent annual rate in the second quarter, above the 3 percent rate that had been expected and a sharp reversal from the weather-impacted first quarter, when the economy contracted a revised 2.1 percent.

Twitter Inc surged on heavy volume, jumping 25 percent to $48.25 in its biggest one-day advance ever after reporting that monthly active users had risen a better-than-expected 24 percent in the second quarter. The social networking company also gave a revenue forecast above forecasts.

"It all looks good today. Earnings have been decent and the GDP number surprised everybody for sure. In this rate environment, the market isn't expensive and we're still finding good values," said Gary Bradshaw, portfolio manager at Hodges Capital Management in Dallas.

The results bolstered support for Internet and other social media stocks, assuaging concerns the group is overpriced. Facebook Inc (FB.O), which also posted strong results this quarter, rose 1 percent to $74.48. LinkedIn Corp (LNKD.N) rose 2.4 percent to $185."

 

https://uk.reuters.com/article/markets-usa-stocks/wall-st-up-on-gdp-data-twitter-has-biggest-jump-ever-idINKBN0FZ1M420140730

 

 

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"Hiring in low-wage jobs like retail and fast food have been plentiful in recent years, but that's changing now.


Middle class employment is on the upswing, thanks to the strengthening economy.

These are jobs that pay about $770 a week: Think manufacturing, sales, transportation and construction.

This employment category has been expanding since 2013, according to Robert Mellman, senior U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase.

And the trend should continue. "The mix of jobs is improving," said Ryan Sweet, director at Moody's Analytics, which found that growth in mid-wage jobs has accelerated to an average of 1.5% in 2014, from 1% for the two years prior. "As the economy begins to grow consistently above its potential, we will see more middle class jobs being created."

 

 

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"Russia canceled its third ruble bond auction in a row as U.S. and European Union sanctions drive the nation’s borrowing costs to the highest levels since March.


The Finance Ministry pulled tomorrow’s sale, citing “unfavorable market conditions” in a statement on its website. The yield on Russia’s 10-year bonds rose six basis points to reach 9.72 percent, the highest since March 14. The rate on the notes increased 109 basis points since a day before a Malaysian passenger jet crashed in Ukraine on July 17.

The U.S. and EU last week expanded sanctions against Russia for what they see as President Vladimir Putins destabilizing role in Ukraine. Switzerland added new people and companies to its list of sanctions today. Russia has now axed 11 auctions since the start of the year and voided four more after bidders sought higher yields than the ministry was prepared to offer."

 

 

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Dollar Ri$e$ Vs. Euro
August 5, 2014


"The dollar strengthened versus the euro before data today that analysts forecast will add to evidence that U.S. GROWTH is gathering pace, boosting the appeal of American a$$et$ versus those in Europe.

“The economic recovery in the U.S. means yield differentials are working in favor of the dollar,” said Hans-Guenter Redeker, head of global currency strategy at Morgan Stanley in London. “We are bullish on the dollar.”

 

 

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"U.S. services sector activity hit an 8-1/2-year high last month and factory orders surged in June, bolstering expectations of solid economic growth in the third quarter.


The Institute for Supply Management said on Tuesday its services index rose to 58.7, the highest level since December 2005, from 56.0 in June, with new orders reaching their highest level since August 2005.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

In a separate report, the Commerce Department said orders for manufactured goods increased 1.1 percent after a 0.6 percent decline in May. Economists had forecast new orders received by factories rising only 0.6 percent.

Manufacturing is expanding strongly, helping to keep the economy on solid ground. A survey last Friday showed new orders at the nation's factories surged in July."

 

 

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"Extending unemployment insurance during the recession didn’t just give the unemployed some extra income, but actually prevented millions from being foreclosed on, according to a new study from Joanne W. Hsu, David A. Matsa, and Brian T. Melzer.

Given that different states have different amounts they’ll pay out in unemployment benefits — in 2011 it ranged from $6,000 in Mississippi to $28,000 in Massachusetts — the researchers looked at what impact more generous benefits had on mortgage delinquency. They found that for every $1,000 extra in maximum benefits, the likelihood that an unemployed worker’s mortgage would go into delinquency declines by 25 basis points. Getting benefits for a longer period has a similar effect, as each additional week decreases the chance of delinquency by 34 basis points. “Based on this variety of tests, we conclude that the estimated effect of UI generosity is causal,” they write, meaning that bigger checks reduce the chances of going into delinquency directly.

They also found that the effect isn’t just a temporary forestalling of an inevitable foreclosure, but that it has a lasting impact on keeping people in their homes."

 

 

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August 26, 2014


"Orders for U.S. durable goods jumped in July by the most on record as bookings surged for commercial aircraft. Demand for business equipment eased after the biggest gain in seven months.

Bookings for all goods meant to last at least three years rose 22.6 percent, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. A U.K. air show helped spark a 318 percent jump in plane orders, the most since January 2011. Orders for non-military capital goods excluding aircraft fell 0.5 percent last month after a June increase of 5.4 percent that was the strongest since November.

Prospects that demand will be sustained are giving companies reason to make larger investments in their operations. Persistent job growth that keeps households spending, along with a pickup in overseas markets, would help provide an added boost for manufacturers.

“When you get past the volatility of the aircraft, what you’re seeing is continued firming in core business spending,” said Tim Quinlan, an economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina. “The underlying trend here is ongoing moderate pace” of capital investment, he said.

The July gain in durables orders also reflected increased demand for automobiles. Bookings for motor vehicles climbed by the most since August 2009.

Monthly job gains that are on pace for their best year since 1999 will provide the wherewithal for increased consumer spending. Employers have added an average 230,000 to payrolls a month so far this year. Economists forecast an average 220,000 jobs on average will be added through year-end, according to the median in a Bloomberg survey conducted Aug. 8-13."

 

 

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August 26, 2014


"Consumer confidence in the U.S. unexpectedly climbed in August to the highest level in almost seven years, reinforcing signs of a strengthening outlook for the second half of 2014.

The Conference Board’s sentiment gauge rose to 92.4, the highest since October 2007, from a revised 90.3 a month earlier, the New York-based private research group said today. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a decline to 89.

Americans are finding more reasons to be upbeat about their prospects for the rest of the year as recent reports pointed to a pickup in the job market and stock prices advanced to records. Stronger sentiment will also help underpin consumer spending, which makes up almost 70 percent of the economy.

“Consumer confidence can sustain these high levels and even build on it a little,” Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, New York, said before the report. “The key driver is the labor market, and the numbers there have been showing an improvement.”

Estimates of 71 economists in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 85 to 94 after a previously reported July reading of 90.9. The gauge averaged 96.8 during the last expansion and 53.7 during the 18-month recession that ended in June 2009."

 

 

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U.S. Second-Quarter Growth
KICKED-A$$!!!!!
August 28, 2014
 

"The U.S. economy rebounded more strongly than initially thought in the second quarter with more of the growth being driven by domestic demand and less by restocking by businesses.


Gross domestic product expanded at a 4.2 percent annual rate instead of the previously reported 4.0 percent pace, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, reflecting upward revisions to business spending and exports.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed the number of Americans filing new applications for jobless benefits slipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000 last week. It was the second week of consecutive declines in initial claims and underscored the strengthening labor market fundamentals.

The composition of growth in the second quarter was even more encouraging, with the sources of growth broad-based.

Domestic demand increased at a brisk 3.1 percent rate, instead of the previously reported 2.8 percent pace. It was the fastest pace since the second quarter of 2010 and suggested the recovery was becoming more durable after output slumped in the first quarter because of an unusually cold winter.

Third-quarter growth estimates range as high as a 3.6 percent rate."

 

 

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"Manufacturing expanded in August at the fastest pace in three years as orders grew by the most in a decade, showing U.S. factories will help power the economy into the third quarter.

The Institute for Supply Management's index unexpectedly climbed to 59, the highest level since March 2011, from July's 57.1, the Tempe, Arizona-based group reported Tuesday. Readings greater than 50 indicate growth. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists was 57.

A drive to update plants and equipment is propelling gains in business investment that will probably keep American factories busy even as consumer spending shows signs of cooling. Better wage growth could broaden household purchases beyond automobiles and help sustain the pickup in manufacturing, which makes up about 12 percent of the economy.

The gain in manufacturing was "so broad-based," Bradley Holcomb, the ISM survey chairman, said on a conference call with reporters. There is not one particular driver, "it's just sort of a continuation of the trend that we've had since January."

 

 

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"New orders for U.S. factory goods jumped in July and automobile sales in August were unexpectedly strong, offering further signs of strength in the manufacturing sector.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday new orders for manufactured goods increased a record 10.5 percent on robust demand for transportation equipment. June's orders were revised to show a 1.5 percent increase instead of the previously reported 1.1 percent rise.

Orders excluding the volatile transportation category slipped 0.8 percent in July. But that followed a 1.4 percent increase the prior month, leaving the overall trend positive for manufacturing activity.

Separate reports from automakers suggested August sales were set to reach volumes not seen since before the 2007-2009 recession, as Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group and Nissan Motor Co. easily beat analysts' estimates."

 

 

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"American factories received more orders for machinery, communications gear and electrical equipment in August as an improving economy gave companies the confidence to expand.

Growing sales paced by demand for automobiles and housing are prompting companies to invest in new equipment and hire more workers, which will give the world’s largest economy a boost in the second half of the year.

“It’s very encouraging that businesses are starting to ramp up spending,” said Russell Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Detroit. “Demand has been good, and improving. We’re getting to the point where companies are going to invest both for replacement and for growth.”

 

 

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"The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to nearly its lowest level since before the 2007-09 recession, a sign of growing steam in the U.S. labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 287,000 in the week ended Oct. 4, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists had expected claims to rise.

The data adds to the view that strength is building in the U.S. economy. "The labor market is entering into a potential boom," said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S economist at Deutsche Bank in New York.

Many economists think the economy grew at an annual rate of around 3 percent in the July-September period, much faster than average rates over the last few years."

 

 

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Booming Home Solar Market!!!
October 22, 2014
 

"For years, the utilities responsible for providing electricity to the nation have treated residential solar systems as a threat. Now, they want a piece of the action, and they are having to fight for the chance.

If utilities embrace home solar, their deep pockets and access to customers could transform what has been a fast-growing, but niche industry. Solar powers only half a million U.S. homes and businesses, according to solar market research firm GTM Research.

But utility-owned rooftop systems represent a change the solar installation companies who dominate the market don't want, and whether the two sides can compromise may determine if residential solar truly goes mainstream.

In Arizona, the state's largest utility has proposed putting solar panels on 3,000 customers' homes, promising a $30 monthly break on their power bills. In New York, regulators are weighing allowing utilities to get into the solar leasing business to meet the state's aggressive plan to incorporate more decentralized, renewable power onto the grid.

That's a change from the industry's recent skepticism of residential solar."

 

 

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GDP Expands 3.5%!!!
October 30, 2014
 


"The U.S. economy expanded steadily, again, during the third quarter, a sign of sustained growth fueled by American consumers and businesses despite mounting concerns about the health of overseas economies.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, advanced at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.5% in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast growth at a 3.1% pace for the quarter.

The report showed broad-based gains across the economy despite a drop in inventories. Trade boosted growth as imports fell, while government spending, which has been a drag on growth over the past three years, turned up during the quarter. Consumer spending and business investment held steady, though housing continues to underwhelm.

The growth follows an uneven first half of the year. The economy expanded at a 4.6% annual pace in the second quarter after it contracted at a 2.1% pace during the first quarter.

Thursday’s report showed that inflation-adjusted GDP rose 2.3% from one year earlier. Economic growth during the current expansion has been modest by the country’s historical standards, and yet it may prove to be the envy of many other advanced economies right now outside of China."

 

 

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"For the first time since 2007, a majority of Americans think things are going well in the nation, a new CNN/ORC International poll found.

It's a slim majority — just 52 percent of Americans said things are going well, while 48 percent said things are going badly
— but it's the most positive appraisal of the state of the nation that the poll has found since January of 2007.

And it marks consistent improvement in the mood of the nation over the past few months, despite a series of national security crises and continued gridlock in Washington. In September, 50 percent of respondents said things were going well.

Economic sentiments have improved over the past year as well. Though just one-third of Americans believe the nation's economy is starting to recover, that marks an 8-point increase from a year ago, when 24 percent said the same.

A plurality, 41 percent, say the economy has stabilized, a 5-point improvement from November of 2013.

And just 26 percent of Americans say the country's economic conditions are getting worse, a decline from the 39 percent who said so in 2013."

 

 

 

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Dreary Days For U.S. Economy
MAY BE OVER!!!

December 1, 2014


 

"After years of disappointment, America's economy may truly be on track.

That's the belief of one of America's top economic policymakers, New York Fed President William Dudley.

Despite some headwinds, Dudley is optimistic that America could grow closer to 2.5% to 3% in the coming year instead of the ho-hum 2% growth that has been a hangover of the Great Recession.

"The U.S. economic outlook looks brighter, with growth likely to be somewhat above the trend of the past five years," Dudley said in a speech on Monday

In fact, Dudley thinks the economy could soon be healthy enough for the central bank to lift interest rates off the ground.

He pointed to a number of issues that have gone from the equivalent of traumatic injuries to mere bumps and bruises."

 

 

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Factories HUMMING In The U.S.!!!
December 1, 2014


 

"Manufacturing growth in the U.S. barely skipped a beat in November, holding near the strongest pace in three years, as the worlds largest economy rose above a global slowdown.

The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index was little changed at 58.7 last month, the second-strongest level since April 2011, compared with 59 in October, the Tempe, Arizona-based group reported today. Readings greater than 50 indicate expansion.

Orders over the past four months have been the strongest in a decade as growing demand from American clients makes up for any letdown among foreign customers. Figures yesterday showing retailers struggled to lure shoppers during the first weekend of the holiday season raise concern that the pace of growth will be difficult to sustain heading into 2015.

“Whatever is happening abroad, this sector seems to be shrugging it off,” said Guy Berger, a U.S. economist at RBS Securities Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut, who projected a reading of 58.5. “There’s still a fair amount of momentum in the U.S. manufacturing sector.”

American producers keep powering ahead at the same time their global competitors slow. Manufacturing in Germany, France and Italy unexpectedly contracted last month, according to purchasing managers’ gauges. An index of Chinese manufacturing fell as mandatory plant shutdowns during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum aggravated a pullback in the economy.

One standout internationally was the U.K., where manufacturing growth unexpectedly accelerated in November to the fastest pace in four months as domestic demand strengthened."

 

 

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"The combination of sanctions and plummeting oil prices is catching up with Russia’s economy, wobbly in the best of times for its overreliance on commodity exports.

Western sanctions over Russia’s annexation of the Crimea Peninsula and its backing of rebels in eastern Ukraine have crippled Russian banks by restricting them to short-term credit. Oil and natural gas make up about 60 percent of Russia’s export earnings."

 

 

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