Strong growth in consumer spending helped keep the US economic recovery on track in the first quarter. Bloomberg reports:
American consumers helped propel the U.S. economy at the start of 2010, taking over leadership of a recovery that is starting to generate the jobs needed to ensure it’s sustained.
Gross domestic product grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter as household spending climbed at the fastest pace in three years, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Other reports indicated the world’s largest economy accelerated to start the second quarter...
The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said its business barometer rose to 63.8 this month, the highest level since April 2005, from 58.8 in March. Figures greater than 50 signal expansion.
The Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment dropped to 72.2, from a reading of 73.6 in March. The gauge was projected to fall to 71 from a month earlier, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 66 economists.
Meanwhile, a weak economic recovery in the eurozone is helping to keep inflation in check but unemployment high. Bloomberg reports:
European inflation accelerated to the fastest pace in more than a year while the region’s unemployment rate remained at an 11-year high.
Consumer prices in the 16-nation euro region rose 1.5 percent in April from a year earlier after a 1.4 percent gain in March, the European Union statistics office in Luxembourg said today in an initial estimate. That’s the fastest inflation since December 2008 and is in line with economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Unemployment held at 10 percent in March, the highest since August 1998, a separate report showed.