2024 Begins With Positive Economic News

Published Friday, January 5, 2024 at: 8:48 PM EST

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The U.S. created 216,000 new jobs in December, more than had been expected by Wall Street, and wages in the 12 months ended December 31 grew by a healthy 4.1%. 

The news reinforced months of data indicating economic fundamentals are growing at a healthy pace but not so fast that it would reignite inflation.  

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Employees experienced a 4.1% increase in average hourly earnings in 2023 compared to the 2023 inflation rate — as measured by the personal consumption expenditure deflator — of 2.6%. Thus, employee wages rose by a real after-inflation rate of 1.5%. An increase in consumer buying power in real terms shows the progress in the financial-economic situation of the nation last year. 

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The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index closed Friday at 4697.24, up +0.18% from Thursday, and down -1.52% from a week ago — snapping a streak of nine weeks of rising prices. The index is up +109.94% from the March 23, 2020 bear market low and -2.07% lower than its January 3, 2022, all-time high.

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This article was written by a veteran financial journalist based on data compiled and analyzed by independent economist, Fritz Meyer. While these are sources we believe to be reliable, the information is not intended to be used as financial advice without consulting a professional about your personal situation.

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