Warning: trigger_error(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

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Warning: trigger_error(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

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Warning: Table './themoney_2011new/watchdog' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:7:\"warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:388:\"mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system\'s timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone \'UTC\' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone.\";s:5:\"%file\";s:93:\"/home/themoney/public_html/sites/all/modules/nodewords/nodewords_extra/nodewords_extra.module\";s:5:\"%line\";i:401;}', 3, '', 'http in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: trigger_error(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table './themoney_2011new/watchdog' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:7:\"warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:386:\"date(): It is not safe to rely on the system\'s timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone \'UTC\' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone.\";s:5:\"%file\";s:93:\"/home/themoney/public_html/sites/all/modules/nodewords/nodewords_extra/nodewords_extra.module\";s:5:\"%line\";i:406;}', 3, '', 'http:/ in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135
Latest U.S. Commerce Department news and updates

Money Matters - Simplified

U.S. Commerce Department

Durable goods turnaround 1.1% in May

Demand for durable goods rose in the United States, climbing after a two month decline in May, the government said.

Home sales dropped in October

Washington -- Sales of new single-family homes fell 8.1 percent in October compared with September, the U.S. Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Home sales fell to 283,000 on an annual basis after reaching 308,000 in September. October's sales also came in 28.5 percent below the 396,000 posted in the same month a year ago.

The U.S. Federal Reserve, in minutes of its Nov. 3 policy meeting released Tuesday, said the housing market in August and September "remained exceptionally weak."

Despite historically low interest rates for mortgage contracts "consumer pessimism … the depressed rate of household formation and tight underwriting standards for mortgages" continued to drag on the market, the Fed said.

Spending and incomes rose in July

Washington -- The U.S. Commerce Department said consumer spending and incomes rose in July after months of virtually stagnant data.

Spending rose 0.4 percent in the month compared to June. But spending fell in 0.1 percent in April, rose 0.1 percent in May and was unchanged in June. That puts the four-month average rise at 0.1 percent.

Incomes, which were also flat a month ago, rose 0.2 percent in July.

For consumer goods in July, spending rose 0.5 percent, with retail sales up 0.4 percent, the report said, much of that due to hot weather, which spurred sales of air conditioners and drove demand on utilities to keep homes and businesses cool.

Durable goods orders dropped in June

Washington -- The U.S. Commerce Department said new orders for durable goods dropped 1 percent in June, following a 1.1 percent drop in the previous month.

In May, excluding volatile transportation orders, the durable goods figure rose. In June, however, the figure fell even without planes, trains and automobiles figured in, dropping 0.6 percent, which shows manufacturing has become sluggish overall.

Overall, new orders dropped to $190.5 billion, off $1.5 billion from the previous month – less than the $2.2 billion drop from April to May.

Housing starts drop, completions rise

Washington -- Privately owned housing starts dropped 5 percent in June, half the rate of decline registered a month ago, the U.S. Commerce Department said.

The 549,000 starts in the month was a decline from May's revised estimate of 578,000.

The figure released Tuesday comes on the heels of a National Association of Home Builder's report that said business confidence among builders had fallen to its lowest level since April 2009.

The Commerce Department said housing starts were 5.8 percent below June 2009, while building permits issued predicting construction activity down the road, rose 2.1 percent above May's revised figure of 574,000.

As with housing starts, the figure is lower than June a year ago, when 600,000 permits were issued.

New home sales fall 32.7 percent in May

Washington -- Sales of new sin U.S. Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Sales plummeted 32.7 percent in the month after two consecutive months of gains that is generally attributed to a federal tax credit for home-buyers that ended April 30.

In May, the annual rate of home sales declined to 300,000, down from an upwardly revised figure of 446,000 for April.

Sales in May were 18.3 percent below the same month a year ago.

The department said the median sales price for new homes in April was $200,900, up from April's median price of $198,400. The average sales price for new homes was $263,400, also up from April, when the average price was $249,500.

Consumer spending stays flat in April

Washington -- Consumer spending was flat in April, although incomes rose 0.4 percent, the U.S. Commerce Department said Friday.

With unemployment at 9.9 percent, consumers returned to saving money in April, a sign that confidence in the economic recovery may be waning.

Consumer spending actually rose by $4 billion, which is less than 0.1 percent, the Commerce Department said.

Real disposable income rose 0.5 percent in the month, following a 0.3 percent increase in March. But U.S. consumers were not spending those dollars, numbers indicate.

Commerce said prices rose 1.2 percent in April on an annual basis, slightly ahead of the consensus forecast of a 1.1 percent rise.

Home sales jumped in April

Was, D.C. -- Sales of new single-family homes jumped sharply for the second consecutive month in April, the U.S. Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Sales rose 14.8 percent compared to March. A month ago, Commerce said sales surged 26.9 percent compared to February.

In April, the annual rate of home sales reached 504,000, up from a revised figure of 439,000 a month ago.

Sales in April were 47.8 percent higher than a year ago, as homebuyers rushed to get paperwork done in time for the April 30 deadline for a federal tax credit.

The department said the median sales price for new homes in April was $198,400, down from $214,000 a month ago. The average sales price for new homes was $249,500 in April, down from $258,600 in March.

New durable goods orders down in March

Washington -- The U.S. Commerce Department said new orders for durable goods dropped 1.3 percent in March compared to February after three months of increases.

In March, durable good orders, items intended to last at least three years, fell by $2.2 billion to $176.7 billion, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Excluding the volatile category of transportation, however, new orders rose 2.8 percent, which will make the report encouraging to investors. Winnowing out defense spending, new orders fell 1.2 percent.

Transportation led the declines with a 12.9 percent drop to $40.2 billion. Much of this category is big ticket items -- aircraft -- that can shift numbers quickly on the backs of just a small decline in airplane orders.

Durable goods data revised higher

Washington -- The U.S. Commerce Department revised its durable goods data for February, shifting its previous estimate of a 0.5 percent rise in new orders to 0.9 percent.

In February, durable good orders, items intended to last at least three years, increased by $1.6 billion to $178.5 billion, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

February was the third month of the past four with increases with the largest gain in machinery orders, which rose 5.1 percent, $1.1 billion, to $23.1 billion.

Orders for non-durable goods rose 0.3 percent, $600 million, to $205.1 billion.


Warning: trigger_error(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

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