Consumer spending experiences slump in April
WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer spending fell by $8.1 billion, or 0.1%, in April 2014. It was the first monthly decline in consumer spending since April 2013 and followed a 1% increase of $117.6 billion the previous month.
“Despite hopes of pent-up demand driving consumption and overall growth through the second quarter — and the second half — it appears after just two months any lingering demand for goods left over from the winter months at the start of the year has since been satisfied,” said Sterne Agee chief economist Lindsey Piegza. “Going forward, in order to maintain momentum in spending, there must be sustainable job and income growth. Meaning it will take more than a hefty increase in the jobs number, but an increase in the quality of jobs is needed as well to create wage pressures, which at the moment remain virtually nonexistent.”
Prices are climbing as spending drops. Consumer prices rose 0.2% month-over-month and 1.6% year-over-year in April, the largest year-over-year increase since November 2012 and second consecutive month-over-month gain on 0.2%. Price increases remain below a 2% target set by the Federal Reserve.
Personal income also is on the rise, growing 0.3% in April. Higher incomes and lower spending pushed the personal saving rate to 4% in April from 3.6% in March.
Jones Soda expands footprint
SEATTLE — Jones Soda Co. announced an expansion to its line of natural sodas into the Pacific Northwest, Texas and Canada. The beverage initially launched in California during 2013 to meet a high demand for healthier beverage options.
The natural line now has a new name, Jones Stripped, which features more vibrant packaging. The beverage is sweetened with natural sweeteners like pure cane sugar, organic agave syrup and stevia.
“We are very excited to expand our natural line of sodas to new markets as we continue to build our pure cane Jones Soda and zero calorie Jones Soda Zilch in our focus markets,” stated Jennifer Cue, CEO. “We at Jones are proud of our portfolio of products that offers something for every consumer.”
Jones Stripped will be available in the Pacific Northwest division of Whole Foods, as well as the state of Texas, where it will be available through the grocery chain H-E-B. Select markets in Canada will begin to see the product arrive on shelves as well.
Mission Pharmacal begins promotion of Elestrin
SAN ANTONIO — Mission Pharmacal on Thursday announced that it has begun the promotion of Elestrin (estradiol gel) 0.06% in the United States through an agreement with Meda AB. The drug is a used as a topical hormone replacement gel to help treat hot flashes caused by menopause.
The addition of Elestrin both complements and expands Mission Pharmacal’s existing line of products for women, which includes such products as prescription prenatal vitamins, a bone health product, anti-infectives, an iron supplement and a urinary analgesic.
"Mission Pharmacal’s commitment to women’s health has never been stronger," said Dan Kibbe, SVP pharmaceutical division at Mission Pharmacal. "The addition of Elestrin further enhances our position as one of the most valuable partners in providing healthcare solutions for obstetricians and gynecologists (OB/GYNs) and their patients in the women’s healthcare community."
Elestrin has been available by prescription in the United States since 2006.