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Consumer Confidence

BUSINESS
March 29, 2013 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON -- American consumers are showing remarkable resilience. Despite the weight of higher payroll taxes and pump prices, consumer spending rose a surprisingly strong 0.3% in February from the prior month, after adjusting for inflation, the Commerce Department said Friday. That prompted a number of economists to boost their forecast sharply for personal spending and economic growth for the first quarter. Moreover, a major indicator of consumer confidence edged up in March to its highest level since November, confounding analysts' projections that the University of Michigan survey would slip as consumers also took in the news of the new government spending cuts under sequestration.
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BUSINESS
March 26, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Stocks and housing prices continue to rise, but consumers are not feeling all that good about the state of the U.S. economy. Confidence among U.S. consumers fell more than forecast in March as Washington's budget battle soured Americans' views of the economic outlook, Bloomberg News reported. The Conference Board's index declined to 59.7 from a revised three-month high of 68 in February, the New York-based private research group reported Tuesday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had projected the March measure would fall to 67.5.
BUSINESS
March 13, 2013 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON -- Consumer spending grew at a surprisingly strong pace last month, another encouraging sign that the economy may be gaining momentum despite the hit from higher taxes and gas prices and fears of government spending cuts. Retail sales rose 1.1% in February from the prior month, seasonally adjusted, thanks in large part to robust gains for cars and building materials and at Internet stores, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. The overall sales rate increase was the biggest in five months and about double what many analysts had forecast.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2013 | By Walter Hamilton and Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
The Dow Jones industrial average is within striking distance of a new record. Still. In what has become a near-daily ritual, the world's best-known stock index inched closer to an all-time high Friday but stopped short once again. The Dow climbed 35 points to rise for the second straight week. That marked a fresh five-year high and the third-best close of all time. But whether it's the budget stalemate in Washington or the typical jitters that precede such milestones, the blue chips couldn't push into new high ground.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Consumer confidence surged in February as the improving job market offset concerns about higher taxes and looming federal spending cuts, according to a leading private barometer. The monthly consumer sentiment index from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan rose 5.1% last month from January. The new reading of 77.6 also was up 3.1% from a year earlier. “Consumer confidence continued to improve in February due to expected gains in employment," said Richard Curtin, the survey's chief economist.
BUSINESS
February 27, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Fashion's Night Out, the star-studded initiative launched at the height of the recession to help generate more sales, is going on hiatus this year. Since starting in 2009, the annual effort brought out the glitterati in heaps as thousands of retailers and designers hosted celebrities and models at parties, showcases and special shopping events. By 2012, the affair had spread to 500 cities across the country - including Los Angeles - and 30 cities worldwide. Last year's festivities attracted singer/designer Victoria Beckham, stylist Rachel Zoe, actress Jennifer Hudson and more.
BUSINESS
February 13, 2013 | By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - With the higher payroll tax starting to kick in, retail sales rose in January at their smallest rate in three months. Consumers pulled back a bit on their purchases of cars, clothes and home furnishings, the government said. Overall, retail sales ticked up a modest 0.1% last month from December, after gains of 0.5% in each of the prior two months. The subdued January performance was in line with consensus forecasts, as many analysts were expecting a drop-off in the growth rate after the expiration of the payroll tax holiday, which translates to about $40 less in take-home pay for the average worker every two weeks.
BUSINESS
February 1, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Fears of the U.S. economy falling into another recession eased Friday as several reports, including the latest jobs data and readings on manufacturing, construction spending and consumer confidence, indicated the recovery was continuing. Economists and investors were heartened by the news, which suggested that growth accelerated at the end of last year. The reports -- a mix of federal and private data -- contrasted with Wednesday's government report that the economy contracted at a 0.1% annual rate in the last three months of 2012.
BUSINESS
January 29, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
Consumer confidence continued to slip in January, falling to its lowest level since November 2011, the Conference Board said Tuesday. The group's monthly Consumer Confidence Index fell to 58.6 in January, down 8.1 points from the month before. “Consumer confidence posted another sharp decline in January, erasing all of the gains made through 2012," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators, in a statement. "Consumers are more pessimistic about the economic outlook and, in particular, their financial situation.
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