Monday, March 1, 2010

Quick Notes for the Day - March 1

Consumer Spending Rises in January - The Commerce Department stated that real consumer spending increased a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in January. The data indicates that this is the highest level since May 2008. After taking into account inflation, real spending on goods increased 0.8%. The personal savings rate fell to 3.3% of disposable income (more spending than income) versus 4.2% in December. This is the lowest level of savings since October 2008.

ISM Falls in February, But Still Expanding - The Institute of Supply Management (ISM) reported that the ISM index fell to 56.5% in February versus 58.4% in January. A number over 50 indicates more firms said business was improving than said it was worsening. The new orders index dropped to 59.5% from 65.9%, the production index fell to 58.4% from 66.2%, while the employment index rose to 56.1% from 53.3%.

Kohn to Step Down as No. 2 at The Fed - MarketWatch - "Vice Chairman Donald Kohn, one of the Federal Reserve's top policymakers over the past decades, will retire in June after 40 years of work in the Federal Reserve system, the Fed said Monday."

Buffett: Health Care "Tapeworm" Drags on Economy - Reuters - "Warren Buffett said "out of control" health care costs are a "tapeworm" limiting growth in an economy recovering only fitfully from the financial crisis."

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