Howard's Feed
Jul 3, 2015

For Fed, a muddled jobs report even as U.S. employment continues to expand

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A mixed U.S. jobs report on Thursday may not give Fed chair Janet Yellen the “decisive evidence” of labor market recovery she wants to see before raising interest rates.

The June employment report showed a modest jump in jobs but no wage growth, a renewed fall in the labor force participation rate, and no improvement in some of the weak corners of the economy that Yellen watches closely.

Jul 2, 2015

Analysis: For Fed, a muddled jobs report even as U.S. employment continues to expand

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A mixed U.S. jobs report on Thursday may not give Fed chair Janet Yellen the “decisive evidence” of labor market recovery she wants to see before raising interest rates.

The June employment report showed a modest jump in jobs but no wage growth, a renewed fall in the labor force participation rate, and no improvement in some of the weak corners of the economy that Yellen watches closely.

Jul 1, 2015

Fed, industry at odds over bond market liquidity

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve and major banks are at odds over whether conditions in the U.S. bond market are deteriorating or merely in a temporary state of flux as investors adapt to new rules, with policymakers and lenders disagreeing over even basic metrics to assess the problem.

Over the last week a majority of the Fed’s five governors have spoken out on the issue, saying they aren’t convinced that markets for U.S. Treasury bonds are facing the liquidity problems that some investors have warned could become a source of financial instability.

Jun 29, 2015

Greek drama not likely to waylay Federal Reserve

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The fuse may be lit for a Greek exit from the euro zone but the fallout in the United States is expected to be modest and not enough to throw the Federal Reserve’s likely September rate hike off course, said former Fed officials and outside analysts watching the latest turn in Greece’s crisis.

Major U.S. stock indexes were lower on Monday by a little more than a percentage point. Yields on Treasury bonds fell and the dollar rose against the euro, indicating the typical push into U.S. securities in times of overseas stress – but not to such an extent it would waylay the Fed.

Jun 25, 2015

IMF to Fed: Drop the dots

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Now that International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde has told the Fed to wait to raise interest rates, the IMF staff has followed up with suggestions that the U.S. central bank remake its communications policy and, in a phrase, ditch the dots.

The dot plot of interest rate projections issued by Fed officials every three months is confusing, an IMF staff paper has concluded, and should be replaced with a staff forecast of the interest rates needed to achieve the Fed’s goals of full employment and stable inflation.

Jun 24, 2015

Analysis – U.S. Fed says it is data dependent, but whose data?

WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve says it will depend on straightforward data analysis in deciding when to raise U.S. interest rates.

But whose data will it depend on?

The large, half a percentage point revision to estimated U.S. first quarter gross domestic product issued on Wednesday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis nearly erased a contraction in output that had unnerved policymakers.

Jun 24, 2015

Fed says it is data dependent, but whose data?

WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve says it will depend on straightforward data analysis in deciding when to raise U.S. interest rates.

But whose data will it depend on?

The large, half a percentage point revision to estimated U.S. first quarter gross domestic product issued on Wednesday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis nearly erased a contraction in output that had unnerved policymakers.

Jun 18, 2015

Fed says U.S. economy strong enough to handle rate hike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy is growing moderately after a winter swoon and likely strong enough to support an interest rate increase by the end of the year, but concerns remain over the recovery of the labour market, U.S. Federal Reserve officials said on Wednesday.

With the economy still on track to grow as much as 2 percent for the year, the central bank’s latest policy statement keeps it on track for at least one and perhaps a second rate increase later this year.

Jun 17, 2015

Fed says U.S. economy still strong enough to handle rate hike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy is growing moderately after a winter swoon and likely strong enough to support an interest rate increase by the end of the year, U.S. Federal Reserve officials indicated on Wednesday.

After contracting in the first quarter, the economy is now

on track to grow between 1.8 percent and 2.0 percent this year, down from the 2.3-2.7 percent range forecast in March, according to the central bank’s latest policy statement and new projections issued by Fed policymakers.

Jun 17, 2015

Preview – Fed eyes mixed bag of data as new rate “regime” nears

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve is meeting with the possibility of an interest rate hike squarely on the table, but with a different issue center stage: Is the worst of 2015 over?

After watching the U.S. economy contract in the first quarter, central bank officials have signaled they won’t raise rates this week. But they will have to judge whether healthier recent jobs, wage and consumer spending data have put that earlier swoon safely in the past, clearing the way for a rate hike – or hikes – later this year.