Daily News 9/26/14

September 26, 2014

Friday – September 26

Economic growth surged in the second quarter of 2014, after the anemic reading that was seen in the first quart of this year. The big gains were led by an uptick in exports and business investments. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that the final reading for 2nd quarter Gross Domestic Product rose to 4.6%, from the second reading of 4.2% and well above the -2.1% that was recorded in the first quarter of the year. The BEA said, “the general picture of economic growth remains the same” since the last reading on GDP was released.

Consumer Sentiment hit a 14-month high this month due to a rise in optimism surrounding the economy coupled with a brighter outlook on future earnings. The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index came in at 84.6 for the final reading in September, the highest level since July 2013 and up from the 82.5 registered in August. The report signaled an uptick in consumer spending on the next 12 months, which is one of the main drivers of the U.S. economy.

U.S. consumers, already paying high prices for meat, will have to shell out even more money this year as prices for beef, pork and other meats continue to rise. The record high prices are due to a severe drought and diseases across the country. The Agriculture Department expects meat prices to rise 6.5% this year, up from the 5.5% that was forecasted a month or so ago, which is well ahead of the 20-year average increase of 3%. To break it down, beef and veal is expected to increase by 8.5% this year, pork up 8%, while chicken is expected to increase by 3.5%.