Tag: Interest Rates

Fed Minutes Show Officials in No Rush to Change Interest Rates

Federal Reserve officials were in no rush to change interest rates as of their last meeting, even if the economy continued to strengthen, and some were worried about persistently low inflation, minutes from their April 30 to May 1 policy meeting show. Inflation eased to 1.6 percent annually in March, well below the Fed’s goal […]

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The Economy Is Strong and Inflation Is Low. That’s What Worries the Fed.

WASHINGTON — America’s job market is booming and the economy is strong, but that combination is not raising prices the way it used to. Biscuit Head, a North Carolina restaurant chain serving up gravy flights and homemade jam, would be charging more if the previous economic relationships held up. At 3.3 percent, unemployment in Asheville, […]

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The Sabotage Years

Do you remember the great inflation scare of 2010-2011? The U.S. economy remained deeply depressed from the aftereffects of the burst housing bubble and the 2008 financial crisis. Unemployment was still above 9 percent; wage growth had slowed to a crawl, and measures of underlying inflation were well below the Federal Reserve’s targets. So the […]

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April Jobs Report: Here’s What to Watch For

The Labor Department will release its estimate of hiring and unemployment for April at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. The monthly report provides one of the better snapshots of the state of the American economy. Analysts on Wall Street are looking for a gain of 190,000 jobs, according to Bloomberg, nearly identical to the 196,000 gain […]

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Fed Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged and Says Inflation Is Below Target

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday and noted that inflation is coming in below the Fed’s goal, presenting a challenge for the central bank as it considers its next move. A strengthening economy has prompted the Fed to raise rates nine times since 2015, with four increases coming under the […]

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Fed Likely to Leave Interest Rates Unchanged as Trump Calls for Cut

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve officials are poised to disappoint President Trump at the conclusion of their two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, with the central bank expected to leave interest rates unchanged despite Mr. Trump’s repeated calls for it to start cutting rates. Mr. Trump has criticized the Fed’s 2018 interest rate increases for slowing growth […]

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Don’t Let Trump Mess With the Fed

Once again, the Federal Reserve has regrettably become a favorite whipping boy. President Trump has been lobbying it to lower interest rates, even though the unemployment rate is 3.8 percent. Progressives are still complaining that the central bank didn’t do enough to stimulate the economy in the wake of the 2008 recession. More worrisome, Mr. […]

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Strategies: Yup, That’s a Comic Book from the Federal Reserve

What do the Avengers, Wonder Woman and the Federal Reserve have in common? Comics. The Fed, which has awesome powers in finance and the stock market, packs a graphic punch, too. On Wednesday, it published a new issue of “The Story of Monetary Policy,” set in outer space. The comic shows the problems caused when […]

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Survival of the Wrongest

Evidence has a well-known liberal bias. And that, presumably, is why conservatives prefer “experts” who not only consistently get things wrong, but refuse to admit or learn from their mistakes. There has been a lot of commentary about Stephen Moore, the man Donald Trump wants to put on the Fed’s Board of Governors. It turns […]

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Stocks Just Hit a Record. Thank the Fed.

The bull market lives, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s new, more relaxed approach to interest rates. April 23, 2019 The economy is softening, profit growth is slowing, and a trade war between the United States and China is grinding on. Stock investors don’t mind. The S&P 500 rose to a record on Tuesday, surpassing a […]

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As Fed Chief, Jerome Powell Navigates an Angry President and Turbulent Markets

WASHINGTON — As soon as the Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome H. Powell, finished speaking at his December news conference, it was clear, even to him, that he had blown it. Stocks were tumbling. Analysts worried that the Fed was steering the economy into recession. And President Trump was furious. Four months later, Mr. Powell and […]

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For Stocks, the Good Times Came Back. But for How Long?

Stock investors really shouldn’t ask for more. With a gain of 13.1 percent for the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, the first three months of 2019 were spectacular — the best first quarter in more than 20 years. Yet Wall Street is insatiable: Immensely profitable rallies, no matter how giddy, are never enough. The pressing […]

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Fed Worried About Slowing Global Growth in Pausing Rate Increases

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve officials were worried about slowing economic growth abroad and the fading effects of President Trump’s tax cuts when they decided in March to pause interest rate increases and cut economic growth forecasts for 2019, according to minutes from the meeting released on Wednesday. The minutes showed that members of the Federal […]

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The Federal Reserve Is Courting Trouble

The Federal Reserve, along with Congress, failed to take sufficient steps to revive the economy after the 2008 financial crisis. One simple measure of the inadequacy of the government’s response is that inflation has remained persistently below the 2 percent annual rate the Fed regards as optimal, a sign of an underachieving economy. Some liberals […]

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Trump Says Fed Should Cut Rates and Lift Economy

President Trump on Friday called on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates and take additional steps to stimulate economic growth, his latest attempt to put the traditionally independent central bank under his thumb. Speaking to reporters before traveling to the southern border, Mr. Trump once again criticized the Fed’s interest rate increases in 2018, […]

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Modern Monetary Theory Finds an Embrace in an Unexpected Place: Wall Street

The package of eccentric ideas known as modern monetary theory — for example, that annual deficits are too small, and that the United States can essentially print money to pay off its debt — has been on the receiving end of a remarkable level of vitriol. In policy circles, heavyweight economists have churned out scathing […]

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The March Job Numbers Tell Us the Economy Is (Still) Doing Fine

ImageA total of 196,000 jobs were added last month, a rebound from the February report. CreditMonica Almeida/Reuters The new jobs numbers reported Friday are not spectacular by the standards of the last couple of years. But they also signify a sigh of relief. A weak job growth number in February had appeared to be the […]

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The Incredible Shrinking Trump Boom

So far, Donald Trump has passed only one significant piece of legislation: the 2017 tax cut. It was, to be fair, a pretty big deal: corporations, the principal beneficiaries, have already saved more than $150 billion, and over the course of a decade the tax cut will probably increase the budget deficit by more than […]

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White House Blames Fed for Slowing Economic Growth

President Trump and his top economic adviser criticized the Federal Reserve’s recent interest rate increases again on Friday, blaming the central bank for hindering economic growth while denying any suggestion of a looming slowdown. Just one day after the Commerce Department said the economy slowed more sharply at the end of last year than previously […]

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