Clipped From Northwest Arkansas Times

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 - Americans Loosening Purse Strings An AP News...
Americans Loosening Purse Strings An AP News Special . 'By LOUISE COOK ·'Americans are, starting- to spend again, loosening the purse strings after more than a year of caution caused by soaring soaring prices and uncertainty over the future of the economy. · ' " The signs are · small ones and the indicators .are, far from unanimous. But recent reports show that consumers apparently apparently are heeding the advice oi those economists and politicans who have been urging people to spend their way out of recession. recession. . , . : , Retail business picked up lasi month; so did car sales, al hough they were still at a 14/ear 14/ear low. Businesses are spending spending more for equipment. · Government Government indexes on the economy economy provided encouragement for the experts. · Tax : rebates were credited with providing some of the stimulus. The rate of inflation has been lower; consumer can- fidence is rising. No one knows how many Americans .will spend the rebate rebate checks they · are getting from the federal government and how many will simply put the money into savings a- counts. The total of the rebates is estimated' at $8.1 billion Dr. Elsie Walters, research director for the.non - profit Tax Foundation Inc., predicted more than half of the money refunded to taxpayers will be spent on consumer goods. Dr.'Walters said the economy already had shown signs of improvement. improvement. She said the rebate "is the icing on the cake." Irwih Kellner, an economist Trust Co., said the tax rebate checks -- being mailed at the rate, of 13: million a week -were -were a factor,in May increases in retail sales. -.Sears -.Sears Roebuck Co., the na lion's biggest retailer, reported Thursday that sales in . May vere 2.2- per-cent higher than hey were-in the same month a rear ago.' The ' figures were unadjusted, for. Inflation. J.C. Penney . Co. said May sales. .were . 7. .per cent higher than last year's and Montgomery Montgomery Ward-Co. reported a 4 per cent boost Here is. a look at some of the Indicators, and. .what is .happening .happening to .them:.... AUTO .SALES.'. U.S. car makers makers sold }6 per cent more cars during. May. .than they did during during April.,/Total .domestic sales were, at .their, .highest level for any month since, last October. CONSUMER CREDIT: The Federal Reserve Board reported reported lhat Americans trimmed their debts again in April, but the decrease in oustanding debt was much lower than it was the previous month. Increases and decreases in the amount of debt provide .some : indication of whether people are spending or simply -paying off · their bills and putting money in savings. WHOLESALE PRICES: The Labor Department said Thursday Thursday that wholesale prices increased increased four-tenths of one per cent in May, compared with a 1.5 per'- cent Increase in April and decreases in the preceding four months. DURABLE G O O D S ORDERS: ORDERS: The Commerce Department Department said an April Increase in purchases- of ·' machinery and other durable goods by manufacturers manufacturers was: the largest rise in m»re ; than seven years. Orders Orders for durable goods rose nearly $3.5 billion, ar 9.8 per cent, in April. HOUSING: 'The ' government said the number of new housing unit starts increased in April, although the level remained well below 1974. There also was a sharp Increase in lha ampiuil of money loaned for [mortgages during April. · INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION: PRODUCTION: The Federal Reserve Board said the output of the nation's nation's Industry fell four-tenths of one per cent, the smallest decline since last August. EMPLOYMENT: The num : her of people employed increased increased in April, the first rise in seven, months, although.the employment figure did not grow as fast as theisize of the labor force; - PERSONAL- INCOME:' Tola! individual income rose in April -- the second straight month of increase. The Commerce De- partment said personal income !or the'month showed a $6.7 billion billion increase, compared with a (3.2 billion increase In-March* CONSUMER 'CONFIDENCES The Conference Board, a nonprofit nonprofit research organization* said consumers, are more coil? fidenl about the future of 4ha economy., . . · ·". ···'. : BUSINESS SPENDING: ,Th« Conference Board said -the amount of money businesses are setting aside for new.plajjts and equipment dropped 9.4 per cent .during the-first quarter': of 1975. compared' with a 26 "per cent- cutback In the previous three-months. ·; .·: IOCAI FORECAST- ^f

Clipped from
  1. Northwest Arkansas Times,
  2. 06 Jun 1975, Fri,
  3. Page 1

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