India inflation consistently tough to pin down

September 4, 2012

High inflation is a drag on economic growth in the world’s second most populous country and matters immensely to over 400 million people, or over a third of India’s total population, who struggle to earn enough to feed their families three meals a day.

Guarded Bernanke still manages to toss a bone to Wall Street and Washington

August 31, 2012

Ben Bernanke has done it again. In his much-anticipated speech Friday, the Federal Reserve chairman managed to tell both investors and politicians what they wanted to hear – that “the stagnation of the labor market in particular is a grave concern” – all while saying next to nothing new about where U.S. monetary policy is actually headed. That the Fed, as Bernanke also noted, stands ready to ease policy more if needed was well known to anyone paying attention the last few months. We also know that the high jobless rate, at 8.3 percent in July, has long been Bernanke’s main headache in this tepid economic recovery.

The productively disinflationary American worker

August 9, 2012

Strong productivity may be good for an economy’s long-term growth prospects. But it’s not always great for workers in the near-run, since it literally means firms are squeezing more out of each employee. In reality, rapid productivity growth can make it harder for workers to get new jobs or bargain for raises.

Weak manufacturing orders tend to precede U.S. recessions

August 2, 2012

U.S. manufacturing activity shrank for a second straight month in July as recent economic weakness spilled into the third quarter, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s closely watched index. But that wasn’t the worst of it: new orders, a gauge of future business activity, also shrank for a second month, albeit at a slightly slower pace.

U.S. bond bulls ready to charge after payrolls report, survey says

August 2, 2012

(Corrects to show CRT is not a primary dealer)

Bond bulls are ready to charge after Friday’s July U.S. employment data, according to a survey by Ian Lyngen, senior government bond strategist at primary dealer CRT Capital Group.

U.S. payrolls ‘wild card’: public school teachers, employees

August 2, 2012

The “big wildcard” in making July payroll projections is the size of the swing in public school teachers and other school workers.

In India, what goes up must keep going up

August 2, 2012

With a faltering economy, political gridlock, high interest rates, delayed monsoons and an epic power outage that has plunged half its 1.2 billion population into darkness, optimism is a sparse commodity in India.

Like over-hyped Olympian, Fed set to disappoint

July 31, 2012

Pity the Federal Reserve. Like an over-hyped Olympian, the U.S. central bank enters this week’s policy meeting with sky-high expectations and a high probability of disappointment.

Hints of recession in sleepy Richmond Fed data

July 25, 2012

It’s a report that gets little attention normally (We at Reuters geek out on Fed data a lot, and even we don’t write a story about it). But an unusually sharp contraction in the Richmond Fed’s services sector index for July caught the eye of some economists. The measure took a nosedive, falling to -11 this month, the lowest in over two years, from +11 in June.

Three years after last increase, business group calls for U.S. minimum wage hike

July 24, 2012

Bucking the usual tune of private sector lobbyists, a group called Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is calling for a hike in the minimum wage, saying it would boost business and the economy.