Daily News 1/30/2015

January 30, 2015

Friday – January 30

U.S. economic growth stumbled in the final quarter of 2014, led by lower business investments and economic problems around the globe. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the U.S., rose by 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014, down from the 5% recorded in the third quarter. The 2.6% was below the 3.2% expected. For all of 2014, GDP grew by 2.2%. Within the report it showed that both inflation components declined.

Consumer Sentiment rose to its best levels since 2004 this month led by better job and wage prospects. The Index hit 98.1 for the final reading in January and the gauge has been steadily increasing since August. “Consumers judged prospects for the national economy as the best in a decade, with half of all consumers expecting the economic expansion will continue for another five years. The anticipated strength in the overall economy has been accompanied by more favorable income and employment expectations”, said Richard Curtin, the survey’s director.

American workers across the nation saw wages and benefits rise at a modest pace in 2014, a signal that an improving job sector could push employers to pay workers a bit more in the coming months. The Labor Department reported that the Employment Cost Index rose by 2.2% in 2014, slightly higher than the 2% in 2013 and also ahead of 1.3% inflation rate. However, just the wage gauge alone saw an increase of 1.7% last year, which was below the gain seen in 2013.