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Fed raises key interest rate, keeps policy outlook unchanged
The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark overnight lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point Wednesday, as anticipated, but left its rate outlook for the coming years unchanged even as policymakers projected a short-term acceleration in U.S. economic growth. The move, coming at the final policy meeting of 2017 and on the heels of a flurry of relatively bullish economic data, represented a victory for a central bank that has vowed to continue a gradual tightening of monetary policy. For more, click here...
12/13/2017


U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly falls in December
Reflecting a deterioration in consumer expectations, the University of Michigan released a report on Friday showing an unexpected decrease in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of December. The report said the preliminary reading on the consumer sentiment index for December fell to 96.8 from the final November reading of 98.5. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 99.0. For more, click here...
12/8/2017


U.S. 3Q growth revised to three-year high
The U.S. economy’s growth rate last quarter was revised upward to the fastest in three years on stronger investment from businesses and government agencies than previously estimated, Commerce Department data showed Wednesday. The latest results for GDP, the value of all goods and services produced, show the economy withstood major hurricanes to reach a more solid footing as it entered the final stretch of the year, thanks to stronger business spending that’s helping cushion a softer pace of consumption. For more, click here...
11/29/2017


Consumer confidence hits 17-year high
Consumer optimism ripped higher in November, building on historic highs set in the previous month. The Conference Board's measure of consumer confidence rose to 129.5, the highest mark since the index hit 132.6 in November 2000. Economists polled by Reuters anticipated a decline to 124, after October registered 126.2. For more, click here...
11/28/2017


Consumer sentiment slips from October high
U.S. consumer sentiment saw slight gains in November compared to the mid-month reading, though the index remained below the decade high reached in October. The University of Michigan's survey of consumer attitudes for November rose to 98.5 in a Wednesday release. The measure was forecast by Reuters economists to hit 98. For more, click here...
11/22/2017


New report asserts softwood lumber's economic impacts
A new report by Forest Economic Advisors (FEA), commissioned by the Softwood Lumber Board (SLB), highlights the importance of softwood lumber manufacturing to the U.S. economy and, in particular, the health of rural communities. Through both direct manufacturing and via downstream industries that use softwood lumber as a primary input, FEA estimates that 775,674 jobs, with a total payroll of more than $46 billion, are tied to the softwood lumber manufacturing industry. For more, click here...
11/14/2017


U.S. consumer sentiment cools in November
U.S. consumer sentiment tumbled in early November, though the index remained at the second-highest level of the year so far. The University of Michigan's index of consumer attitudes fell to 97.8 in November, well below the expectations of a survey of Reuters economists, who forecast no change from the 100.7 level at the end of October. For more, click here...
11/10/2017


Fed holds off on rate hike, opens door to December
The Federal Reserve declined to raise interest rates at its policy meeting this week and said the late-summer hurricanes likely will not have much longer-term impact on overall economic activity. There was little in the post-meeting statement Wednesday to indicate that the Fed would hold off on raising rates again soon. As widely anticipated, the Federal Open Market Committee, the central bank's policymaking arm, held its benchmark interest rate target between 1% and 1.25%. Markets also figure the Fed will approve a quarter-point hike at the December meeting, though the committee chose not to tip its hand overtly in Wednesday's statement. For more, click here...
11/1/2017


Consumer confidence hits highest level since December 2000
Consumers were even more optimistic in October than economists polled by Reuters expected. Consumer confidence rose to 125.9 in October, according to the Conference Board. The index "increased to its highest level in almost 17 years," Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, said in a statement. That was in December 2000, when the index hit 128.6. For more, click here...
10/31/2017


U.S. economy expands at brisk pace
The U.S. economy unexpectedly maintained a brisk pace of growth in the third quarter as an increase in inventory investment and a smaller trade deficit offset a hurricane-related slowdown in consumer spending and a decline in construction. Gross domestic product increased at a 3.0% annual rate in the July-September period after expanding at a 3.1% pace in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said on Friday. For more, click here...
10/27/2017


Surge in energy costs sends U.S. consumer prices up 0.5%
U.S. consumer prices rose 0.5% in September, the largest increase in eight months. The result reflects another big jump in energy prices in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which shut Gulf Coast refineries and caused gasoline prices to jump across the country. The September increase in the closely watched consumer price index was the biggest one-month gain since a 0.6% rise in January, the Labor Department reported Friday. For more, click here...
10/13/2017


U.S. consumer sentiment surges to 13-year high
U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly surged to a 13-year high as Americans’ perceptions of the economy and their own finances rebounded following several major hurricanes, a University of Michigan survey showed Friday. The jump in sentiment, which was greater than any analyst had projected, may reflect several trends: falling gasoline prices following a hurricane-related spike; repeated record highs for the stock market; a 16-year low in unemployment; and post-storm recovery efforts driving a rebound in economic growth. For more, click here...
10/13/2017


U.S. consumer sentiment dampened by hurricanes
U.S. consumer sentiment in September was blown slightly off course by a string of damaging hurricanes but remained relatively resilient otherwise, making the first nine months of 2017 the best on record since 2000. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey for September registered a reading of 95.1, slightly lower than the 95.3 that analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected and below the 96.8 recorded in August. For more, click here...
9/29/2017


U.S. economic growth revised higher in 2Q
The U.S. economy grew a bit faster than previously estimated in the second quarter, recording its quickest pace in more than two years, but the momentum probably slowed in the third quarter as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma temporarily curbed activity. Gross domestic product increased at a 3.1% annual rate in the April-June period, the Commerce Department said in its third estimate on Thursday. The upward revision from the 3.0% rate of growth reported last month reflected a slightly faster pace of inventory investment. For more, click here...
9/28/2017


U.S. consumer confidence, home sales falter
U.S consumer confidence fell in September and home sales dropped to an eight-month low in August due to the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, supporting the view that the storms would hurt economic growth in the third quarter. The economy, however, remains on solid ground as other data on Tuesday showed a strong increase in house prices in July. For more, click here...
9/26/2017


Consumer sentiment survey declines in September
Consumer confidence declined in September, after hitting a seven-month high in August. The consumer sentiment index, a survey of consumers by the University of Michigan, hit 95.3 in September, better than economists polled by Reuters expected. For more, click here...
9/15/2017


Gasoline, rent boost U.S. consumer inflation
U.S. consumer prices accelerated in August amid a jump in the cost of gasoline and rental accommodation, signs of firming inflation that could allow further monetary policy tightening from the Federal Reserve this year. Other data on Thursday showed an unexpected drop in the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits last week. Though the data was impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the labor market remains healthy with increasing reports of worker shortages in some industries. The Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index rose 0.4% last month after edging up 0.1% in July. August’s gain was the largest in seven months and lifted the year-on-year increase in the CPI to 1.9% from 1.7% in July. For more, click here...
9/14/2017


U.S. consumer sentiment rises in August
U.S. consumer sentiment climbed in August from July as consumers remained optimistic about their personal financial conditions, although confidence was not quite as strong as economists had estimated, a survey showed Friday. The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose to 96.8 in August from a final reading of 93.4 the month before. The result fell short of expectations for a reading of 97.4, according to a Reuters poll, and also slipped from a preliminary reading of 97.6 two weeks earlier. For more, click here...
9/1/2017


U.S. GDP hits Trump's 3% target in 2Q
U.S. economic growth in the second quarter is now thought to be stronger than previously reported, helped by stronger business investments and consumer spending. The Commerce Department's second estimate of Q2 gross domestic product released Wednesday printed at 3%. Economists had forecast a slight increase to 2.7% from 2.6% on the back of stronger consumer spending. For more, click here...
8/30/2017


U.S. consumer confidence reaches second-highest level since 2000
A pickup in consumer confidence to the second-highest level since late 2000 provided a basis for steady gains in spending, according to figures Tuesday from the New York-based Conference Board. Americans have had much to lift their moods: optimism about the economy, steady hiring and unemployment at a 16-year low, in addition to contained inflation, home-price appreciation and stock-market gains. Improving consumer sentiment also bodes well for growth in household spending, the biggest part of the economy. The results reflect survey responses through Aug. 16, prior to Hurricane Harvey’s landfall in Texas. For more, click here...
8/29/2017


Canada's annual inflation rate rises to 1.2% in July
Canada's annual inflation rate ticked higher in July as prices for gasoline climbed, giving the Bank of Canada room to raise its key lending rate again in the fall. The annualized inflation rate last month was 1.2%, up from 1% in June, Statistics Canada said, adding the increase was in line with estimates. For more, click here...
8/18/2017


U.S. consumer sentiment reaches seven-month high
U.S. consumer sentiment improved to its strongest level in seven months in early August, reflecting confidence in the outlook for the economy and in personal finances as the U.S. stock market holds near record highs, a key survey showed on Friday. The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose to 97.6 in the first half of August from 93.4 the month before, which was an eight-month low. The result exceeded expectations for a reading of 94, according to a Reuters poll. For more, click here...
8/18/2017


Modest rise in U.S. consumer prices may delay Fed rate hike
U.S. consumer prices rose slightly in July as higher food costs were partly offset by falling prices for a range of other goods, suggesting benign inflation that could persuade a cautious Federal Reserve to delay raising interest rates until December. But with the labor market near full employment and economic growth accelerating, analysts expect the U.S. central bank will announce a plan to start unwinding its massive bond portfolio at its policy meeting next month. The Labor Department said on Friday its Consumer Price Index edged up 0.1% last month after being unchanged in June. That lifted the year-on-year increase in the CPI to 1.7% from 1.6% in June. For more, click here...
8/11/2017


U.S. consumer sentiment fell in July
A closely watched measure of household confidence in the U.S. economy declined in July, but remained elevated. The University of Michigan on Friday said its final reading on consumer sentiment during July was 93.4, up from a preliminary reading of 93.1 but down from 95.1 in June. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a final July figure of 93.1. For more, click here...
7/28/2017


U.S. GDP meets 2Q expectations
U.S. gross domestic product increased 2.6% in the second quarter, meeting expectations. Last quarter's growth rate came in at 1.4%. The economy grew at a 2.1% pace in the fourth quarter of 2016. U.S. economic growth in 2015 was the best since 2005 but the momentum ebbed significantly in 2016, with the economy notching its weakest performance since the recession, according to revised government data published on Friday. For more, click here...
7/28/2017


Fed keeps key interest rates unchanged
The Federal Reserve is keeping its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a time of low inflation, which remains persistently below the Fed’s target level. The Fed noted Wednesday in a statement that inflation has stayed undesirably low even though the job market keeps strengthening, with the unemployment rate just 4.4%. Normally, solid job growth drives up wages and prices. But the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation has moved further below its 2% target in recent months. The central bank decided after ending its latest policy meeting to leave its key rate unchanged in a range of 1% to 1.25% after having raised rates twice this year, in March and June. For more, click here...
7/26/2017


U.S. consumer confidence hits four-month high
A four-month high in U.S. consumer confidence reflects Americans’ sunnier views on both their current situation and outlook, a positive sign for the economy, data from the New York-based Conference Board showed Tuesday. With unemployment near a 16-year low and U.S. stocks reaching record highs, consumers remain upbeat, which should continue to support the household spending that accounts for about 70% of U.S. gross domestic product. For more, click here...
7/25/2017


Consumer sentiment slips lower
Confidence in future economic prospects continued slipping into early July, the University of Michigan reported Friday. U.S. consumer sentiment fell to 93.1 in a preliminary survey. Economists expected consumer sentiment to hit 95 in July, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates. "Overall, the recent data follow the same pattern repeatedly recorded around past cyclical peaks: expectations start to post significant declines while assessments of current economic conditions continue to reach new peaks," Richard Curtin, a chief economist for the University of Michigan's survey of consumers, said in a statement. For more, click here...
7/14/2017


Weak inflation, retail sales dim rate hike prospects
U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in June and retail sales fell for a second straight month, pointing to tame inflation and soft domestic demand that diminished prospects of a third interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve this year. Still, the economy likely regained speed in the second quarter after a sluggish performance at the start of the year. Other data on Friday showed industrial production picked up in June, driven by a surge in oil and gas drilling. For more, click here...
7/14/2017


Yellen: Stronger economy warrants more rate hikes
The U.S. economy is gathering strength as consumer spending, business investment and global demand for American products rebound from a weak spell at the beginning of the year, likely warranting further gradual increases in the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate, Fed Chair Janet L. Yellen plans to tell Congress Wednesday morning. In a measured statement to be delivered at the beginning of two days of testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives, Yellen described an economy that appears generally strong, with continued job gains and low unemployment, but is still dogged by stubbornly low inflation. Despite low inflation, the Fed has lifted interest rates twice this year, in March and June, bringing its benchmark rate to between 1 and 1.25%. For more, click here...
7/12/2017


Consumer sentiment survey declines in June
A measure of U.S. consumer sentiment declined in June, a possible sign of softening public confidence about the economy heading into the summer. The University of Michigan on Friday said its consumer-sentiment index was 95.1 in June, up from a preliminary June reading of 94.5 but down from 97.1 in May. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a final June reading of 94.4. For more, click here...
6/30/2017


U.S. GDP growth revised up in 1Q
The U.S. economy slowed less sharply in the first quarter than initially estimated due to unexpectedly higher consumer spending and a bigger jump in exports. Gross domestic product increased at a 1.4% annual rate instead of the 1.2% pace reported last month, the Commerce Department said in its final assessment on Thursday. It was still the slowest growth rate since the second quarter of last year. Economists polled by Reuters had expected GDP growth to remain unchanged at a 1.2% rate. For more, click here...
6/29/2017


Consumer confidence rises in June
The Consumer Confidence Index rose in June to 118.9, despite expectations for it to drop, The Conference Board announced Tuesday. Economists were expecting the index to drop slightly to 116 for the month of June, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates. Last month, the index dipped to 117.9, down from its April reading, The Conference Board said. For more, click here...
6/27/2017


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