Monthly Archives: September 2015

Consumer Spending Gain Shows U.S. Is Weathering Global Slowdown

[09-28-15]  Purchases climbed a more-than-forecast 0.4 percent in August. Wages increased annualized 5 percent, the most since January. Household spending climbed more than forecast in August and the prior month was revised up, fueled by wage growth and indicating consumers will help the U.S. economy muddle through a global slowdown. The 0.4 percent increase in purchases matched the July advance that was larger than previously reported, Commerce Department figures showed Monday. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.3 percent August increase. Employment gains helped wages climb an annualized 5 percent over the last three months, the most since January. Consumers’ willingness to spend...
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Why Yellen Blinked on Interest Rates

[09/17/15]  It has been seven years of zero percent interest rates. What’s another two or three months among friends?

That’s the conclusion that Janet Yellen and her colleagues at the Federal Reserve reached in their policy meeting on Thursday. They left interest rates unchanged at the same near-zero level where they have been lodged since December 2008. For them, the risk of changing course prematurely just seemed higher than another couple of months of zero rates.

Ms. Yellen blinked, which is not to say she made a mistake. Sometimes blinking is a very sensible thing...

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U.S. Job Openings Hit Record High as Labor Market Tightens

[09/09/15]  U.S. job openings surged to a record high in July and employers appeared to have trouble filling openings, the latest signal of an increasingly tight labor market that could push the Federal Reserve closer to raising interest rates.

The monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, is one of the job market metrics on Fed Chair Janet Yellen's so-called dashboard. It was published ahead of the U.S. central bank's Sept. 16-17 policy meeting.

Despite the tightening labor market and a strong rebound in economic growth, the probability of a rate hike at...

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Hopes for Manufacturing Rebound are Fading

[09/01/15]  A key report Tuesday dampened hopes that U.S. manufacturing will serve as a growth engine in the second half of the year as a strong dollar and low oil prices continue to hamper production. Instead, manufacturers are bracing for more troubles in the fourth quarter amid China’s economic weakness and global market turmoil. “When there’s doubt among consumers and investors, it means (businesses) are not going out and doing projects,” says Gregory Jenkins, owner of Flinchbaugh, a 30-employee steel parts maker in Manchester, Pa. The Institute for Supply Management said its index of manufacturing activity fell to a two-year low in August, slipping to 51.1% from 52.7% the...
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