Playlist: Personal spending and consumer sentiment

Posted by Katharine Crnko

For Marketplace Morning Report, Friday May 27, 2011

Here are today's top headlines from the Marketplace Morning Report and from around the web.

Americans are making a little more money and are shelling out more of it too, yes. The Commerce Department reported personal spending was up four-tenths of a percent in April. But we're spending almost all of it on more expensive gasoline and food when adjusted for inflation. The rise in spending is pretty much nil.

Consumer sentiment improved in May as job gains offset high gasoline prices, while inflation expectations diminished, a survey released Friday
showed. Consumers were also more upbeat about the longer term outlook for the economy.

At their meeting in France leaders of the G8 countries said this morning that rising commodity prices are a threat to the world economy. Though they added that the global recovery is gaining strength. Also, Tunisia's finance minister says leaders floated the figure $40 billion as the amount of money they're considering spending to encourage democracy in the Arab World.

Neiman Marcus said this morning its profit more than doubled to $46 million last quarter. It's just the latest upscale chain to report strong earnings following Saks and Tiffany's.

Fitch Ratings said on Friday it has cut Japan's outlook to negative from stable, citing considerable downside risk for its public finances from still unknown costs of containing a crisis at the crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima.

Boeing said today it'll deliver the first of its long-awaited 787 Dreamliner airplanes in August or September. The launch of the fuel efficient jet has been delayed for almost three years because of supply chain and labor issues.

Sony says tomorrow it'll start restoring its PlayStation video game network in Japan and parts of Asia. Down for a month after a huge security breach.

To Florida where a man is suing the Winn Dixie supermarket chain -- and a flower importer. The man says he suffered pain, disfigurement, medical bills and lost wages after pricking his finger on a rose thorn. The suit says the roses should have been de-thorned and the stems should have been wrapped more carefully. The man is asking for $15 thousand.

To Oregon where lawmakers have had enough of gift cards with just a few dollars left on them. I mean, really. What are you supposed to buy with a gift card from Best Buy with $2.08 left on it? Gum? So the Oregon House has voted to allow consumers to trade in their gift cards with less than $5 remaining on them for cash. The lawmaker behind the legislation says just in Oregon unredeemed cards account for $100 million.

A new report says people are burning fewer calories at work. The study looked back 50 years and found both men and women today burn on average more than 120 fewer calories while on the job. Scientists believe it could be all the sitting we do in today's modern workplace. Personally, I'm pretty sure it's the doughnuts.

You can read the rest of today's stories from the Marketplace Morning Report here.

Here are the songs we played:

  • Bounce Skate Rock Roll -- Vaughn MasonBuy
  • Rolling With a Dub -- Ari RozeBuy
  • Lead the Way -- Szjerdene Buy
  • Geek Dreams -- RikkiBuy
  • Woman Driving, Man Sleeping -- EelsBuy

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