Entries in Consumer (6)


US Consumers Refrain from Further Spending

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Because of limited job growth in America, consumers have cut back in spending reports Bloomberg.

In the second quarter, state and local governments have also slashed budgets. With looming U.S. tax changes and the European debt crisis in effect, the American economy is in a weary state.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Consumer Spending, Personal Incomes Rise 0.4% in April

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- American consumers spent more and earned more in April, but the numbers are not as good as they may look. Both spending and incomes rose 0.4% last month and if it wasn't for inflation, that would be a reasonably strong gain. But the Commerce Department says most of the increase was eaten up by higher gas and food costs. Because of this, there's little left over for increased spending on other products.

The savings rate was unchanged in April, now at its lowest average in two and a half years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Survey: Rising Gas Prices Squeezing Budgets, Stressing Consumers

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- High gas prices are putting a squeeze on many family budgets and it's starting to take a toll on consumers, according to a new survey by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

John Gannan, who works for FINRA, says the survey shows that many people are stressed.

"Sixty-one percent of our survey respondents reported basic difficulty covering monthly expenses and paying bills," Gannan says.

Gannan advises that a weekly spending budget can ease consumers' troubles, adding that "everyone can find something that they can cut."

"People need to look at how much they're spending versus how much they're saving and make some tough decisions about things they can cut out of their monthly expenses and bills," he says.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Consumer Spending Picks Up in February

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Americans didn't spend like never before last February, but as least they spent more than they have since last October.

Unfortunately, much of their disposable income went into their gas tanks.

The Commerce Department reported Monday that consumer spending increased by 0.7 percent in February, representing the eighth consecutive month of gains.

However, when the numbers were adjusted for inflation, particularly for a whopping increase in the cost of gasoline, consumption was actually closer to 0.3 percent.

Still, higher prices at the pump didn't deter Americans from going shopping, thanks in a large part to the extra money they saw in their paychecks due to Congress slicing the Social Security payroll tax.  This has provided a cushion enabling consumers to endure the extra cost of driving to and from their favorite stores.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gallup: American Confidence in Economy Up So Far in November

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PRINCETON, NJ) – Americans are more optimistic about the economy than they were a year ago, according to Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index.

The index, which is derived from consumer ratings of the current economic situation and economic outlook, is up to -26 from -29 in October. However, the current figure is actually a decline from a midterm election surge that brought the figure to -22.
The optimism may stick around as the percent of Americans who view the economy as “getting worse” also declined, down to 57 percent from 60 percent in October.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Insurers Using Consumer Data for Risk Assessment

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Insurance companies are turning to consumer habits to assess the health of their customers.

According to the Wall Street Journal, insurers are using consumer-marketing data to estimate a person’s risk for illness. Information from online and offline purchases, along with data from public records such as hunting permits and property transfers are all being used to conduct the risk assessment.

One company, Aviva, examined data from 60,000 of its recent insurance applicants, and found that a “predictive modeling” system proved to be convincing in its ability to arrive at similar results that traditional techniques would. That test was conducted by Deloitte Consulting, and estimated the risk for illnesses such as high blood pressure and depression. 

Other companies considering pursuing a similar route for assessment include AIG and Prudential.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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