WASHINGTON, April 22 (Reuters) – European Central Bank
officials showed no sign of bending to renewed international
pressure to do more to boost the euro zone’s struggling economy.
Top ECB policymakers, attending the International Monetary
Fund’s spring meetings, politely but firmly rebuffed the IMF’s
call that the bank should cut its policy interest rate below 1
percent and be prepared to provide more public funding to banks
to reduce the risk of a new flare-up of the crisis.
LOUIS (Reuters) – Comments by two top U.S. Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday suggest the central bank is on hold as it waits to see whether a modest recovery will accelerate despite some stumbles, or whether additional monetary stimulus will be needed.
One Fed official said that gloomy jobs data for March does not signal the U.S. economic recovery has been thrown off course. Another said the bar is high for the central bank to take any further easing steps.
OK, this time, maybe it was a mistake to do the math.
Concluding the Fed was cooler to more monetary easing by trying to tally policymakers who openly expressed support for further stimulus at the March meeting may have led to a distorted picture of where officials’ views stand. Weak March payrolls data underscore the shakiness of this analysis.
First, let’s run the numbers. Minutes of the Fed’s March meeting revealed that “a couple” participants on the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee thought the economy would need more help from the Fed if things got worse. That head count was a lot smaller than the previous meeting. January minutes had shown “a few” participants thought there should be more easing if things continued as they were. “Other members” at the first meeting of the year had thought the Fed should act if the outlook got worse.
More than six years after its spectacular collapse, the U.S. housing market – the laggard of the struggling economic recovery – may be poised for pickup, driven in part by an upswing in remodeling, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch economist Michelle Meyer thinks.
Gains are likely to be modest at first, and are subject to volatility since overall economic growth may well slow in the second half of this year. Also, given the deep hole housing has fallen into, the market is still far from a robust recovery, Meyer wrote in a note to clients drawn from recent research.
Avast ye swabs! Maybe the disconnect between improving labor markets and sluggish economic growth that has Federal Reserve policymakers scratching their heads makes sense if viewed through a pirate’s spyglass – with a lot of latitude, according to a top Fed official.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard sees the 8.3 unemployment rate continuing to fall at a sprightly pace. That’s even though Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has fretted the jobless rate’s precipitous tumble since August, when it was 9. 1 percent, doesn’t square with the relatively modest pace of growth.
LOUIS, April 5 (Reuters) – A top Federal Reserve
official said on Thursday that the central bank’s projection of
late 2014 for the first likely increase in interest rates sends
too pessimistic a signal as the economic recovery strengthens.
“The 2014 language in effect names a date far in the future
at which macroeconomic conditions are still expected to be
exceptionally poor,” St. Louis Federal Reserve President James
Bullard said. “This is an unwarranted pessimistic signal for the
(Fed) to send.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Reserve policymakers have backed away from the need for another round of monetary stimulus as the U.S. economy gradually improves.
Minutes of the central bank’s meeting published on Tuesday showed only two of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee’s 10 voting members saw the case for additional monetary stimulus.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Reserve policymakers appear less inclined to launch a fresh round of monetary stimulus as the U.S. economy gradually improves, according to minutes for the central bank’s March meeting.
Economic growth has strengthened slightly, Fed officials noted, but they remained cautious about a broad pick up in U.S. activity, focusing heavily on a still elevated jobless rate.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Reserve policymakers appear less keen to launch a fresh round of monetary stimulus as the economy gradually improves, according to minutes for the central bank’s March meeting.
Fed officials noted recent signs of slightly stronger economic growth but remained cautious about a broad pick up in U.S. activity, focusing heavily on a still elevated jobless rate.
MARIETTA, Ohio, April 2 (Reuters) – Federal Reserve
policymakers on Monday signaled little appetite for further
monetary steps to stimulate U.S. growth in an economy that is
“With my current outlook, I think our policy stance is still
the one best suited to foster steady gains in output and
employment and to maintain stable prices,” Cleveland Fed
President Sandra Pianalto told a business group.