Monday Moneybeat

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming next on The World and Everything in It, the Monday Moneybeat.

NICK EICHER, HOST: The first half of calendar 2019 is in the books, and it’ll take a little less than four weeks before we get to read the broadest measure of where things stand economically.

Here’s what we do know:

The Commerce Department issued its final revision to first-quarter Gross Domestic Product, and it’s the same as its previous estimate of 3.1 percent GDP growth. What changed is what drove the good performance, the mix of factors—with business investment a bit stronger and consumer spending a bit less strong than previously estimated.

We do have two good indicators for the month of May: the first is that consumer spending did increase month-on-month modestly, as did wages, with inflation also in check. And a key indicator that serves as a proxy number for business investment increased in May after having declined in April. The rise in May is the biggest pickup since January.

REICHARD: Second quarter of the year on Wall Street: modest gains, and not nearly as good as quarter one.

Even though all but one of the major stock indexes fell slightly last week, the halfway point of the year has all the indexes with double-digit percentage-point gains so far this year.

For the quarter: The Standard and Poor’s 500 is up 4.2 percent, the Dow Jones Industrials up 2.8. The Nasdaq stock index enjoyed a 4.2 percent gain, the Russell 2000 better by 2 percent in the second quarter.

EICHER: Purchases of durable goods in May—these are things meant to last about three years, items like washing machines and cars—that went down. And it was a single factor that held it down: sales of commercial aircraft. 

And, by the way, it was one line of aircraft that drove down the category almost all by itself, the controversial Boeing 737 Max, grounded due to concerns about safety. If you factor out that always-volatile aircraft category, sales of durable goods actually rose in May after having fallen in April.

And a sign that the housing market is about to get healthier: the National Association of Realtors pending-home sales index rose 1.1 percent in May. Pending sales is a measure of home purchases that are usually completed about a month or two later.

REICHARD: The end of an era at America’s first-ever trillion-dollar company.

IVE: Ideas are extremely fragile. Ideas are not predictable in terms of when you’ll have them and how many you’re going to have.

Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive departing after almost 30 years at the company. He’s the brains behind Apple’s stylish design. 

He’s regarded as the visionary behind what set Apple apart from its competitors—technology that didn’t just look like boxes of wires, but that was fashionable and trendy. 

Ive is starting his own company, but says Apple’s his first, presumably biggest, client.

EICHER: And that is today’s Monday Moneybeat.

(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) In this June 20, 2019, file photo trader Joseph Lawler works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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