Entries in Department of Commerce (4)


Home Construction Rose by 14.6% in June

Karl Weatherly/Digital Vision/ Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Builders broke ground on 14.6 percent more homes in June than they did in May, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce's latest report on housing starts released Tuesday.

The report finds that construction began last month on a seasonally-adjusted rate of 629,000 new homes across the country, with 453,000 of them being single-family homes.

While the housing starts represent just half the number needed to signal a healthy housing market, it shows the sector is on the rebound.

"It's very good news. It's in both single-family and multi-family. It's also broad-based.  It's across all of the regions. So it's good to see this kind of increase," says Robert Denk, a senior economist at the National Association of Home Builders.

"We expect the trend to be upward...That doesn't preclude that we'll see some volatility, that we might see these numbers go up and down.  But today's increase is definitely a good sign," he adds.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Consumer Spending Unchanged in May

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock (WASHINGTON) -- In the latest sign of a weak economy, consumer spending sagged last month, according to the latest report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The agency says consumer spending was unchanged in May, the first time it had been in several months.  Furthermore, when inflation was factored in, consumer spending decreased 0.1 percent.

The report also showed that incomes rose 0.3 percent last month, matching its increase in April.  When adjusted for inflation, incomes were still in the positive, rising 0.1 percent.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Retail Sales Fall for First Time in Almost a Year

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Retail sales dipped last month, marking the first time they were down in nearly a year, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The decline among U.S. retailers in May was 0.2 percent, with the bulk of the drop due to fewer car sales.  If you factor out the sales of vehicles, retail sales would have actually gone up 0.3 percent last month.

Car sales were impacted by a shortage of imports caused by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Commerce Dept.: US Consumer Spending Continues to Improve 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Official data from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows that consumer spending in the United States has grown at its fastest pace since 2007.  The Commerce Department reports that spending has grown 3.5 percent since 2009.

Economists say spending and savings growth should persist in 2011, provided that the job market continues to improve.

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