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Bank of America's earnings reflect 2 big themes in the economy

Bank of America (BAC) released its Q1 earnings announcement on Thursday, and the company's message was largely in line with lackluster expectations.

The bank earned $0.21 per share, which was a penny better than analysts' expectations.

Two broad themes were represented in Bank of America's results: 1) the US consumer is healthy, and 2) the banking business is tough.

The US consumer is looking good

"This quarter, we benefited from good consumer and commercial banking activity," Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said. "Our business segments earned $4.5 billion, up 16% from the year-ago quarter."

Average loans and leases grew 8% to $215 billion. Total credit and debit card spending activity increased by 5%. Bank of America issued 1.2 million new US consumer credit cards during the period.

Indeed, Bank of America is getting a boost from the US economic recovery, which has been highlighted by strong job gains, increasing home and stock prices, and what appears to be the beginning of rising wages.

This was...


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