First quarter GDP rises just 1.8 percent – lower than expected
Us economic growth increased just 1.8 percent in the first quarter, held back by moderate consumer spending, weak business investment and declining exports. CNBC reports that output was originally reported to have risen at 2.4 percent, but final estimates from the Commerce Department lowered the rate to 1.8 percent. Downward revisions were made to all categories except home construction and government. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two thirds of economic activity, increased at only 2.6 percent rather than 3.4 percent. Exports, which were previously reported to have grown, actually contracted at 1.1 percent.
Barnes and Noble leaves tablet market
Barnes and Noble announced today that losses at its Nook digital business more than doubled in the quarter ended April 27. As a result, Barnes and Noble will stop producing its own color tablets in favor of co-branded devices made by third parties. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Barnes and Noble will continue to make its own black-and-white e-readers, which account for the majority of its book sales. With e-reader sales expected to decline over time, however, it is unclear how competitive Barnes and Noble can be even with this limited presence in the tablet market.
Carnival CEO steps down
Carnival Corp.’s’ CEO Micky Arison is stepping down after three decades because the company’s earnings declined following some high profile mishaps at sea. According to the Wall Street Journal, Carnival is the world’s largest cruise ship company and is headed for its third straight year of lower profits due to the recession and negative publicity from several mishaps. First, the Costa Concordia, a ship owned by a Carnival subsidiary, was shipwrecked off of Italy’s coast in 2012, killing 32 people. In February, a fire in an engine room left the Carnival Triumph adrift at sea with 4000 passengers without air conditioning or functioning toilets for 4 days. The company was started by Arison’s father with a single cruise ship. Arison built the business into a company with a $28 billion market value. Arison also owns the Miami Heat.
Astronomers discover three planets that are habitable
Astronomers discovered a solar system packed with planets, three of which are habitable, according to Fox News. The Gliese 667C star is orbited by between five and seven planets and is part of a triple star system known as Gliese 667. Three of the planets are in a zone in which liquid water could exist, making them possible candidates for the presence of life. The planets are similar to ours but larger. The star is 22 light years away and part of the constellation of Scorpius.
Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner. McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner. Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors. She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.
McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth. Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.
McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)
Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.