Correspondent, Washington
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Jul 25, 2015

Fed inadvertently publishes staff forecast for 2015 rate hike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Staff economists at the Federal Reserve expect a quarter-point U.S. interest rate increase this year, according to forecasts the Fed mistakenly published on its website in a gaffe that drew criticism about its ability to keep secrets.

The rate forecast was included with a series of bearish projections on U.S. economic growth and inflation that were presented to policymakers at their June 16-17 meeting.

Jul 24, 2015

Fed staff sees one U.S. rate hike this year, inflation stuck in low gear

WASHINGTON, July 24 (Reuters) – Staff at the Federal
Reserve’s Board of Governors see a single quarter-point U.S.
interest rate increase by year’s end, inflation stuck in low
gear for five more years and an economy growing more slowly than
expected by U.S. policymakers.

Those bearish projections were included in a set of staff
forecasts presented to policymakers at their June 16-17 meeting
and inadvertently posted on the Fed’s website on June 29. (bit.ly/1IrnFT8)

Jul 23, 2015

Exclusive: U.S. Treasury’s intelligence network vulnerable to hack – audit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lax security left the U.S. Treasury’s computer system for tracking overseas threats to America’s financial system vulnerable to hackers, according to a government audit prepared in late 2014 and obtained by Reuters.

The Treasury Foreign Intelligence Network is used by U.S. spy agencies to share top-secret information and to keep tabs on the impact of sanctions against countries such as Iran and Russia, as well as militant groups like Hezbollah.

Jul 8, 2015

Washington says Greek meltdown would be geopolitical mistake

WASHINGTON, July 8 (Reuters) – The Obama administration
warned Europe on Wednesday that allowing a financial and
economic meltdown in Greece would be a geopolitical mistake.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said he has been in
constant contact with European officials regarding Greece’s debt
crisis, which threatens to compromise Europe’s monetary union
and create instability in a region critical to U.S. interests.

Jul 8, 2015

Washington worries China stock crash could hit Chinese economy

WASHINGTON, July 8 (Reuters) – The Obama administration is
worried that China’s stock market crash could hurt the country’s
economy and get in the way of Beijing’s economic reform agenda.

“The concern, that is a real one, is what does it mean about
long-term growth in China,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on
Wednesday.

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

Despite bad month for U.S. wages, data suggests a rebound looms

WASHINGTON, July 2 (Reuters) – America’s employers say they
are finding it harder to find high-quality workers, which could
soon fuel faster wage growth and help convince the Federal
Reserve to hike interest rates despite data on Thursday that
cast the labor market in a poor light.

The Labor Department said hourly earnings for the average
worker didn’t grow at all in June, the latest disappointing
month for paychecks in a trend that goes back to the 2007-09
recession.

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

Employer headaches over labor quality point to stronger U.S. wages

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – America’s employers say they are finding it harder to find high-quality workers, which could soon fuel a boost in wage growth and help convince the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates.

The Labor Department’s monthly jobs report due on Thursday will likely show June was another month of lackluster pay increases, a trend going back to the 2007-09 recession.

Jun 23, 2015

U.S. airs deep concerns over cyber security in China meetings

WASHINGTON, June 23 (Reuters) – The United States on Tuesday
said cyber theft sponsored by the Chinese government was a major
problem and stressed the need to keep Asian sea lanes open at
annual talks with China.

In opening statements at the wide-ranging Strategic and
Economic Dialogue forum in Washington, both sides expressed a
desire for constructive bilateral relations, with China saying
the two countries could manage differences and should avoid
confrontation.