Locally, consumer spending saw a slight increase in the fourth quarter of 2013.
WASHINGTON | Bleaker outlooks at retailers like Wal-Mart and Macy's are raising doubts that consumers will spend enough in coming months to lift the still-subpar U.S. economy.
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.
Greater Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce President Rex Richards said the chamber has been the beneficiary of a "loosening up" of funds from Northwest Indiana businesses, a sign regional economic conditions are improving.
Valparaiso economic development official Rex Richards said with construction activity on the new Porter hospital tailing off later this year, other projects should be ready to provide a boost to the area.
Americans spent more on cars and trucks, and companies restocked their shelves at the strongest pace in nearly two years, helping the U.S. economy reach its fastest growth rate of last year.
There's a "critical mass" of small businesses in the area, especially in Porter County, that are making it through the tough economic times and are hoping for growth, Rex Richards said.
WASHINGTON | Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he's surprised by how cautious consumers have been in the two years since the recession officially ended. But the Fed chief offered no hint of any steps the Fed would take to boost the weak economy.
Consumers spent more on cars, furniture, electronics and other goods in July, and more in May and June than previously thought. If it keeps up, the economy might rebound after growing in the first half of 2011.
WASHINGTON | The U.S. service sector, which employs nearly 90 percent of the country's work force, expanded for a 19th consecutive month in June. But growth slowed from May, a sign the economy remains sluggish.
The U.S. economy expanded a little faster at the beginning of the year than previously estimated. But the growth rate was still anemic and economists don't see that changing much in the coming months.
Businesses that have cash available are scouting whether to add or expand Northwest Indiana locations with increased frequency because of improved economic conditions, Rex Richards said.
Consumers as a whole will likely spend more this year-but not because we'll all be earning more money. Even people lucky enough to get a raise will likely spend most of those extra dollars to pay higher gas and food prices.
WASHINGTON | Retail sales rose in August by the largest amount in five months, adding to evidence that a late spring economic swoon was temporary and not the start of another recession.
NEW YORK | Stocks extended their losing streak to four days Friday after a mixed batch of readings on consumers further muddled investors' sense of the economy.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economic recovery will remain slow deep into next year, held back by shoppers reluctant to spend and employers hesitant to hire, according to an Associated Press survey of leading economists.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. posted solid gains in exports in May, a positive sign for the economy. And while imports grew even faster, some economists saw that as a hopeful sign because it suggests companies are betting that consumers will spend more in coming months.
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