US economic snapshot: October 2012

A rundown of recent movement in the US economy:

On October 5, we learned that the unemployment rate has dropped to 7.8%. This decrease was not a result of more discouraged people leaving the workforce. Click here for a visual breakdown of the jobs report and here for details on how unemployment is calculated and why the figure can be volatile.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index hit a three-month high in September, indicating that consumers are feeling better about the national economy, the buying climate, and personal finances.

Consumer spending rose 0.5% in August, due in part to higher gas prices. Chain retail sales in September beat estimates.

GDP was revised down for Q2 to a 1.3% annualized rate. Factory orders and industrial production were both down in August, indicating decreased demand and business investment that does not bode well for near-term economic expansion.

The charts below were produced by Econoday in conjunction with Haver Analytics. Click the link above each chart for extra analysis.

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index

Consumer Spending


Retail Sales

Industrial Production

Factory Orders

Links: econoday.com, bloomberg.com, theatlantic.com