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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 27 November, 2002, 16:14 GMT
US economic recovery continues
US shoppers
Consumer confidence is on the up again
The US economy has shown signs of renewed strength, with the number of jobless falling, consumer spending outstripping earnings and strong demand for manufactured goods.

The deluge of figures pushed US share prices higher on Wednesday, in anticipation of an economic rebound.

Total jobless claims dropped for the second consecutive week to 364,000, their lowest level in nearly two years, the Labor Department said.

Personal spending was higher than income growth for the first time since the summer, the Commerce Department said.

Durable goods orders - typically cars, fridges, washing machines and other such items - surged 2.8% in October from September, the government added, the first rise in three months.

Meanwhile regional economic figures were also stronger than expected.

The Chicago National Association of Purchasing Management index rose from to 54.3 from 45.9 in October, indicating accelerating production.

Big spenders

US consumers went on a spree in October, with personal spending rising 0.4% while income growth gained only 0.1%, according to figures from the Commerce Department.

October was the first month since July that consumer spending, which accounts for roughly two-thirds of the US economy, outpaced personal income growth.

US consumer sentiment also bounced upward in November from October's nine-year low as a firming job market, rebounding stocks and the Federal Reserve's interest rate cut lifted American spirits.

The University of Michigan's final reading of November consumer sentiment index rose to 84.2 from 80.6 in October, market sources said on Wednesday.

The November rise halted a five-month slide in sentiment.

The report, which is released only to subscribers, supports similar gains in the Conference Board's consumer confidence index seen on Tuesday.


Economic indicators

Fears and hopes

US Fed decisons

IN DEPTH
See also:

26 Nov 02 | Business
15 Nov 02 | Business
07 Nov 02 | Business
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