US consumers are spending again as retail sales number shows consumers bought automobiles and a range of other goods in May, suggesting the economy is gaining steam despite slowdown in the labor market.
Retail sales rose 0.5 percent in May, follow a 1.3 percent jump in April, Commerce Department figures showed on Tuesday in Washington.
“This is a very strong spring quarter for consumer spending,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in Pittsburgh and the best forecaster of retail sales over the past two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It adds to evidence that the economy “is bouncing back pretty solidly.”
Steady gains in consumption will help the economy accelerate from a soft patch at the start of the year, bolstering forecasts by Federal Reserve officials that the slowdown would prove temporary. A pickup in wages generated by continued increases in employment will help ensure households remain a mainstay of the economic expansion.
Nine of 13 major categories showed increases in demand in May from the prior month, led by a 1.3 percent jump at non-store retailers, which include online merchants. Sales also rose 1.3 percent at sporting goods stores and 0.8 percent at clothing stores, marking the biggest advance since November.
Automobile dealers’ sales increased 0.5 percent in May after a jumping 3.1 percent the prior month. That’s roughly in line with figures earlier this month that showed U.S. vehicle sales were little changed in May from the month before.
Receipts at gasoline stations climbed 2.1 percent last month, the retail sales report showed. The Commerce Department’s retail sales data aren’t adjusted for prices, so higher fuel costs can boost filling-station receipts. The cost of an average gallon of regular gasoline was $2.38 as of June 10, the highest level since September.
The figures used to calculate gross domestic product, which exclude categories such as food services, auto dealers, home-improvement stores and service stations, increased 0.4 percent in May after rising 1 percent the month before, which was the biggest advance in two years.
Economists are counting on households to lead a rebound in the U.S. after first quarter growth was hamstrung by slowing consumption growth and a slump in business investment. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg from June 3 to June 8 saw growth climbing at a 2.5 percent annualized rate in the second quarter after a 0.8 percent pace in the first three months of the year.
Fed policy makers are keeping tabs on growth as they determine when their next interest-rate increase will be appropriate. May’s weak payrolls report led many economists to conclude that a hike at the Fed’s June meeting, taking place Tuesday and Wednesday, would be unlikely.
Another report Tuesday showed inflation was starting to stir. The costs of goods imported into the U.S. climbed 1.4 percent in May, the biggest gain in four years, according to data from the Labor Department.
While the advance was paced by a 16.2 percent surge in fuel costs that was the largest since 1999, prices for other items were also starting to strengthen. Non-fuel imports cost 0.3 percent more last month, the biggest gain since March 2014.
Transcorp Hotels Expand into Marketplace, Launches Aura to Connect People, Hoteliers, Others
Transcorp Hotels Plc, on Thursday, announced it has launched a new digital platform, Aura, through which people can book accommodation, restaurants and experiences.
Aura, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.
“It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Dupe Olusola said.
“For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.
The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.
Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”
“To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.
Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.”
Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director
Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria
Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.
According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.
Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.”
Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.
The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.
“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.”
It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.
The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.
However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.
On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.”
I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth. 🇳🇬🙏🏽🇳🇬
— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) March 1, 2021
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