The Norman Transcript

Headlines

March 30, 2013

U.S. consumer spending, income jump

WASHINGTON — U.S. consumers stepped up spending in February after their income jumped, aided by a stronger job market that offset some of the drag from higher taxes. The gains led economists to predict stronger economic growth at the start of the year.

Consumer spending rose 0.7 percent in February from January, the Commerce Department said Friday. It was the biggest gain in five months and followed a revised 0.4 percent rise in January, which was double the initial estimate.

Americans were able to spend more because their income rose 1.1 percent last month. That followed huge swings in the previous two months, which reflected a rush to pay bonuses and dividends in December before taxes increased.

After-tax income also increased 1.1 percent last month, allowing consumers to put a little more away. The saving rate increased to 2.6 percent of after-tax income, up from 2.2 percent in January.

The gains in spending and income follow other signs of an economy gathering momentum. Hiring is up, businesses are spending more, the stock market is hitting record levels and the housing recovery is strengthening.

More spending by consumers should boost economic growth in the January-March quarter after a lull at the end of last year. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

After seeing Friday’s report on consumer spending, Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, raised his growth forecast for the first quarter by a full percentage point. Ashworth now expects growth in the January-march quarter increase to an annual rate of 3 percent.

Growth at that pace would be a vast improvement from the 0.4 percent rate in the October-December quarter, which was held back by slower company stockpiling and the sharpest defense cuts in 40 years.

Ashworth called the boost in spending “impressive,” noting that consumers spent more while having to adjust to the higher Social Security taxes and a spike in gasoline prices.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Trees Trees take root in Andrews Park Johnny Keeler of Little River Trees plants a tree Tuesday in Andrews Park to replace those lost when the area was hit by a tornado on April 13, 2012. The tornado took out several trees in city parks. Andrews Park was hit the hardest.

    April 16, 2014

  • General fund continues to decline as expenses exceed anticipated revenues

    Norman’s expenses will again outstrip projected revenue in the current budget before the city council. The budget for the fiscal year that starts in July and ends June 30, 2015, projects $210,982,020 in total revenues and $213,436,778 in ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman High Speech and Debate Team wins state championship

    Briar White’s heart pounded in his chest as he clasped the hands of several classmates and Booker T. Washington High School was announced as the second-place finisher. White said he was elated to hear second place announced because he ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman students accepted to arts institute

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Forty-nine Norman high school students have been accepted to the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain, an arts academy hosted June 14-29 in southwestern Oklahoma. The Norman students were among 270 artists ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Ukraine bares teeth against eastern uprising

    KRAMATORSK, Ukraine — In the first Ukrainian military action against a pro-Russian uprising in the east, government forces repelled an attack Tuesday by about 30 gunmen at an airport, beginning what the president called an “anti-terrorist ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Supremacist faces murder charges

    OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The white supremacist charged in shootings that left three people dead at two Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas City made his first court appearance Tuesday....

    April 16, 2014

  • Oklahoma Senate approves limits on abortion drug

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to further restrict the use of abortion-inducing drugs in Oklahoma in a bill written in direct response to a recent state Supreme Court decision....

    April 16, 2014

  • OU History of Science Department receives Sloan Foundation Grant

    The University of Oklahoma History of Science Department has received a $350,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in support of a project to build an innovative tool for collaborative research centered on the 100-year-old Isis ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman High, North named top schools in nation

    Norman High and Norman North have once again been identified as two of the most rigorous high schools in the state and nation. The Washington Post’s 2014 Most Challenging High Schools list, the first of annual national high school ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Oklahoma Water Survey data web portal to be demonstrated next week

    A new tool is available from the Oklahoma Water Survey, at the University of Oklahoma, for organizations in the state that collect and use water data. Oklahoma Water Survey Director Robert Puls will demonstrate Phase I of a new water data ...

    April 16, 2014

Video
Facebook