Fleet Management

Economic Watch: Latest Economic Numbers Hit Multi-Year Highs

July 26, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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While American’s are split on how President Obama is handling the economy, the latest numbers out show things are decidedly on the upswing.

Consumers, who account for about 70% of all economy activity in the country, are showing increasing confidence. The Thompson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index released Friday shows it hitting a six-year high for July.

The index registered 85.1, up one point from the month before and up 13 points from a year ago.

Rising home prices and steady job gains boosted household wealth and income.

The day before a report from the U.S. Commerce Department showed a big spike in new orders for durable goods while shipments were flat.

New orders in June increased 4.2% from the month before. The hike is the fourth out of the last five months and puts new orders at its highest level on record, going back to 1992. It was led by a 12.8% increase in transportation orders.

Shipments during June totaled $229.8 billion, down less than 0.1% from May. In May it increased 1.3% from the month before.

In a separate report the U.S. Commerce Department reported a 8.3% increase from the month before to an annual rate of nearly 500,000 homes, the best since May 2008.

The one down note was a report from the National Association Realtors showing existing home sales in June fell 1.2% but it was mainly due to a lack of supply, rather than less interest by those wanting to purchase a home.

Last week two polls showed about just under half of American’s approve of the way Mr. Obama is handling the economy while most of the rest disapproves, according to surveys for NBC News/Wall Street Journal and ABC News/Washington Post.

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