Glimmer of Good News

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis says personal income decreased $20.7 billion (0.2 per-cent), and disposable personal income decreased $11.8 billion (0.1 percent) in November 2008. Personal consumption expenditures decreased $56.1 billion (0.6 percent). In October, personal income increased $11.3 billion (0.1 per-cent), disposable personal income increased $16.7 billion (0.2 percent), and personal consumption expenditures decreased $102.6 billion (1.0 percent), based on revised estimates.

But real disposable income (adjusted for inflation) increased 1 percent in November, compared with an increase of 0.7 percent in October. Real personal consumption expenditures increased 0.6 percent, the biggest increase in more than three years. The November increase in personal consumption, mostly the result of declining gasoline prices, is a glimmer of positive economic news.

Jewelry Businesses Down 1.6% for 2008
[from Jewelers’ Board of Trade]

Jewelry Business 2008 2007 Ann Chg
Retailers 22,623 23,035 –1.8%
Wholesalers 4,544 4,566 –0.5%
Manufacturers 3,345 3,415 –2.0%
Total 30,512 31,016 –1.6%

Business Discontinuances for 2008

Ceased Operations 1,137
Consolidation/Sale/Merger 178
Bankruptcies 64
Total 1,379