June 3, 2014
LIA Economic Report: June 2014
By: Dr. John Rizzo
by LIA Chief Economist Dr. John A. Rizzo
The first quarter of 2014 was a challenging one for the US economy. The GDP fell by 1 percent, well below expectations. First quarter productivity was down by 1.7 percent while unit labor costs increased by 4.2 percent.
More recent economic news has been mixed. The labor market has continued to improve nationally as well as on Long Island, but at a modest pace. And declining labor force participation remains a concern. While retail sales and consumer spending fell off in April relative to March, this may have reflected much higher spending on utility bills in March as well as pent up demand in March following severe winter weather conditions.
The housing market has been sluggish and the timing and extent of a spring rebound remain uncertain. But business investment is up, the stock market has remained strong and consumer and business sentiment going forward are stable.