The Economy

April Data Show Modest Recovery From Q1 Slump

Personal income increased 0.4% in April but consumer spending and industrial production were soft.
Katie Kuehner-HebertJune 1, 2015
April Data Show Modest Recovery From Q1 Slump

A flurry of economic reports released Monday on balance show an improving, though weak, economy in the beginning of the second quarter.

Personal income increased $59.4 billion, or 0.4% in April, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. However, consumer spending was flat, falling $2.6 billion, or less than 0.1%.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, would increase 0.2% in April.

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Another Commerce Department report estimated construction spending during April at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,006.1 billion, 2.2% above the revised March estimate of $984.0 billion, and 4.8% above the April 2014 estimate of $960.3 billion.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity registered 52.8%, an increase of 1.3 percentage points over the April reading of 51.5%. Its new orders index registered 55.8%, an increase of 2.3 percentage points from the reading of 53.5% in April.

Reuters said most of the reports suggest some growth in the economy, “even as consumer spending and industrial production have been soft.”

“The economy is slowly rebounding from its first-quarter slump, hamstrung by a strong dollar and deep spending cuts in the energy sector, which has been slammed by a plunge in crude oil prices, as well as the penchant by households to hoard cash,” Reuters wrote.

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