Inside these posts: Consumer spending

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Consumer sentiment at five-month low in March

Consumer sentiment fell to its lowest level in five months in early March as gasoline prices rose, a survey released on Friday showed.

Even so, buying plans were largely unchanged and although the rate of real consumer spending will diminish, the report does not indicate a renewed downturn on the horizon, the latest consumer survey from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan said. Get the full story »

U.S. retailers’ sales rise, but gas prices threaten

A shopper outside of Tiffany & Co. on Chicago's Michigan Avenue. (David Pierini/Chicago Tribune)

Top U.S. retailers posted stronger-than-expected sales gains for February, a show of strength that could dissipate in March as a late Easter and rising gasoline prices take their toll.

The chains reported a rise of 4.2 percent in sales at stores open at least a year, according to Thomson Reuters data. Analysts had expected the Thomson Reuters index of 25 retailers to show a 3.6 percent rise in same-store sales last month.

The results confirmed consumer confidence data showing that the U.S. economy is on better footing despite the spike in gas prices. Get the full story »

Consumer spending edges up, incomes surge

U.S. consumer spending rose less than expected in January as households took advantage of the largest increase in incomes in more than 1-1/2 years to rebuild their savings, government data showed on Monday. Get the full story »

Acco Brands 4Q earnings up more than sixfold

Lincolnshire-based Acco Brands Corp. said Wednesday that its earnings grew more than sixfold in the fourth quarter, benefiting from new products.

But the maker of Swingline staplers and other office products cautioned that 2011 will remain challenging because of uncertain consumer and business spending. Get the full story »

Consumer spending jumps in December

U.S. consumer spending rose more than expected in December to post the sixth straight month of gains as households drew down on their savings to fund purchases, government data showed Monday.

The Commerce Department said spending increased 0.7 percent after rising by 0.3 percent in November. Get the full story »

Those with jobs spending more freely

A steady decline in layoffs is giving the vast majority of adults who have jobs the confidence to spend more freely and help energize the economy. They no longer worry so much about losing their jobs.

Their renewed confidence has boosted retail sales — just what’s needed to spark what economists call a “virtuous cycle”: Higher consumer spending raises company profits, which spurs hiring, which fuels more spending and growth. Get the full story »

November consumer spending up; savings drop

An employee at a store in New York, Dec. 6, 2010. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

New U.S. claims for jobless benefits dipped last week and consumer spending increased in November for a fifth straight month, reinforcing views of a solid economic growth pace in the fourth quarter.

Initial claims fell 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 420,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday, matching economists’ expectations.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed spending rose 0.4 percent after increasing by an upwardly revised 0.7 percent in October. Get the full story »

Weak cereal sales hurt Kellogg’s 3Q results

Kellogg Co. said Tuesday that a drop in cereal sales, intense competition and the lingering impact of some of the largest food recalls in the company’s history have made 2010 a difficult and disappointing year. Get the full story »

Poll finds consumers are still reluctant to spend

Consumers aren’t in a spending mood and there is little indication that they will be anytime soon, according to a new poll from Harris Interactive.

Indeed, the market research firm has asked the same set of questions to consumers seven times since the economic crisis began in 2008 and, with few exceptions, the responses have scarcely changed, the New York-based firm said.

The likelihood that consumers will make a big ticket purchase remains low, with 88 percent saying they are “not likely” to buy or lease a new car or truck and 79 percent saying they are “not likely” to buy a computer. Similarly, 90 percent said they are “not likely” to buy a new house or condo. Get the full story »

Moody’s may raise McDonald’s ratings

(Reuters/Molly Riley/Files)

Moody’s Investors Service said on Friday it may raise its ratings on McDonald’s Corp. due to solid operating performance and growth prospects.

Moody’s placed McDonald’s A3 senior unsecured rating, the seventh-highest rating, and Prime-2 short-term commercial paper rating on review for possible upgrade.

“The review for possible upgrade reflects McDonald’s solid operating performance achieved through various strategic initiatives such as new product innovation, cost savings, re-imaging and new restaurant growth,” Moody’s analyst Bill Fahy said in a statement. Get the full story »

Consumer spending shows gain in July

U.S. consumer spending rose at the strongest pace in four months in July, supported by a small gain in incomes that offered hope consumers will be able to keep contributing to a modest recovery. The Commerce Department said on Monday spending increased 0.4 percent, the largest gain since March, after being unchanged in June. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected consumer spending to rise 0.3 percent. Get the full story »

Consumer spending, incomes rise in May

U.S. consumer spending rose slightly more than expected in May even as savings touched their highest level in eight months, a government report showed on Monday. The Commerce Department said spending edged up 0.2 percent after being flat in April. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected consumer spending to rise 0.1 percent. Get the full story »