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November 20, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Some staggering new figures about Asian American consumers are out this month: Their buying power is up 523% since 1990, reaching $718.4 billion this year. If the demographic were a nation, it'd be the 18th-largest economy in the world. Within five years, Asian American buying power will surge over $1 trillion, according to a report this month from Nielsen. At the moment, 28% of households in the group have annual incomes greater than $100,000, compared with 18% of all Americans.
March 4, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
The White House said Monday that consumers should be able to unlock their smartphones, and that it would support legislation to make such adjustments legal. The Obama administration said consumers deserve the flexibility to unlock their smartphones as well as their tablets, allowing consumers to use a device with a carrier other than the one they bought it from. "It's common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring we continue to have the vibrant, competitive wireless market that delivers innovative products and solid service to meet consumers' needs," the White House said in response to a petition.
October 24, 2012 | By Karin Klein
Discussions of Proposition 37, the initiative that would require labeling of many genetically engineered foods, tend to bring up two arguments that both seem true at first blush. Opponents claim it would raise the price of food; supporters say it would result in better-informed consumers. But both assertions are more dubious than they appear. The No-on-37 campaign bases most of its claims of higher food prices on a study that it paid for, so obviously the findings are hardly unimpeachable.
April 30, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Consumer confidence rebounded in April as Americans felt better about the economy's short-term prospects and their own incomes, the Conference Board said Tuesday. The group's Consumer Confidence Index rose to 68.1 this month after dropping to 61.9 in March. But while the reading showed an improvement, it was too soon to tell "if confidence is actually on the mend," said Lynn Franco, the Conference Board's director of economic indicators. She noted that "consumers' confidence has been challenged several times over the past few months" by a series of events, including the concerns about the so-called fiscal cliff, the payroll tax increase that kicked in on Jan. 1, and the looming federal budget cuts known as sequestration.
May 7, 2011 | By Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News
Cars have sticker prices, ketchup bottles have nutrition-facts labels, and soon health plans will get coverage labels. For the first time, consumers shopping for a health policy will be able to get a good idea of how much of the costs different plans will cover for three medical conditions: maternity care, treatment for diabetes and breast cancer. And because buying insurance is more complicated than buying a can of soup, the proposed insurance labels are two pages long. The labels will provide pricing based on national averages and not exact numbers that consumers can expect to pay. And to begin with, only the three medical scenarios will be listed.
March 19, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
Apple Inc.'s plan to launch a stock buyback program as well as start paying a quarterly dividend was welcome news to investors in the world's most valuable company. Apple will pay a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share, starting in its fiscal fourth quarter, which begins July 1. And a $10 billion share buyback program will begin next fiscal year, reports  our colleague David Sarno. It's big news -- and not just because of the big bucks involved. The development also suggests a break with the way Apple was run under late Chief Executive Steve Jobs : For years, the company had rejected demands to share that money with stockholders.  The about-face left some consumers -- you know, the men, women and children who purchased the products that made such wealth possible -- grumbling on Monday, wondering about their piece of the pie. In a conference call with investors this morning, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said the company would spend about $45 billion on the two-pronged approach over the next three years.
July 13, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera, This post has been corrected, as indicated below
WASHINGTON -- Consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level of the year this month as discouraging economic news here and abroad erodes Americans' view of the recovery. The preliminary reading for July from the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers fell to 72 from June's figure of 73.2, the second straight monthly decline, Reuters reported Friday. Economists surveyed separately by Bloomberg had expected the confidence reading to tick up to 73.5.
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