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Economic Indicator: Light Vehicle Sales Up at start of 2012

One of the first available indicators about the U.S. economy in 2012 is the measure of retail sales of light vehicles and the news is good: January saw new sales just under 14.2 million (at an annual rate), up from 13.6 in December 2011.  This is highest monthly level since May 2008 (even higher than the August 2009 spike, or as I like to call it "Mount Cash-for-Clunkers").

Economic Indicator: A Look at Personal Income in 2010-11

Personal income ended the year on a positive note-increasing 0.5 percent in December, its largest gain since February 2011.

Economic Indicator: Private Construction Spending up in 2011

Like many other economic indicators (such as GDPEmployment, and Personal Income) construction spending finished the year on an upward trend as we move into 2012.  Total construction spending in December 2011 was $816.4 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, up 1.5 percent from t

Economic Indicator – 2011 Employment Review: Which Jobs Grew in 2011; Next Steps for 2012

Last week's release of the December jobs data reveal industry employment trends for the whole year and afford us an opportunity to review the employment picture for 2011.  Broad-based economic and job growth is key to reducing the ranks of the jobless, and certainly 2011 brought positive steps in that direction as joblessness finally began to decline, and the unemployment rate decreased to 8.5 percent. 

A Timeline of Out Compete-ing

Economic Indicator: Holiday Retail Jobs Return to Pre-Recession Level – Taking a Closer Look

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday December 2 that the retail trade sector hired 423,500 more workers in November effectively a return to pre-recession levels for those jobs.

Economic Indicator: Understanding Holiday Retail Sales

Tomorrow we will release retail sales data for November amid a steady drumbeat of news stories about holiday shopping.  These stories beg the question of just how important sales are during the holiday season -- for overall consumer spending as well as for specialty stores.   The short answer is that total retail sales (excluding motor vehicle sales) tend to creep up about 3 percent every year between September and October (bearing in mind that September tends to be in a bit of a post-summer lull).  The upward creep continues at a bit over 4 percent in November, and then sales spike 17 per

Economic Indicator: The European Economy and U.S. Exports - A Seasonally Adjusted View

A recently released Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD) forecast suggests that the Euro area economies have already fallen into recession. This is likely to affect U.S. goods exports.  Has this expected effect shown up in the data yet?  Currently, it is difficult to tell when this effect may be occurring because the country export data are not adjusted for seasonal changes.

September 2011 exports highest on record

Economic Indicator: Foreign trade data show U.S. well on its way to NEI goal of doubling exports in five years

Broadband Internet Adoption Moves Forward, but Digital Divide Still Persists

The Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released a report today entitled "Exploring the Digital Nation:  Computer and Internet Use at Home." This report investigates broadband Internet use in the United States and finds that disparities continue to exist in broadband Internet adoption among demographic and geographic groups.

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