WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The economy expanded at a “modest to moderate” pace since mid-April while hiring remained relatively subdued, according to a Federal Reserve report based on discussions with business contacts.
Consumer spending picked up and housing continued to show signs of strength, the Fed’s Beige Book showed. The previous report cited “moderate” growth, so the addition of the word “modest” may hint at some weakening.
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – High wheat prices, a government tax rebate plan and expected good weather will prompt Argentine farmers to expand planting of the grain by 40 percent this season compared with the 2012/13 crop year, Agriculture Secretary Lorenzo Basso said on Tuesday.
“The area will be close to 4.5 million hectares, for sure,” Basso told the Reuters Latin America Investment Summit.
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina is pursuing U.S. environmental approval to export biodiesel more easily to that market and revitalize a local industry in “crisis” due to trade problems with the European Union, Argentina’s main biofuels chamber said on Monday.
The head of the chamber, known by its Spanish acronym Carbio, spoke to the Reuters Latin America Investment Summit on Monday.
BALTIMORE (Reuters) – An improving U.S. housing market suggests it is time for the Federal Reserve to stop aiming its stimulus at the real estate sector, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said on Wednesday.
“When you look at housing market conditions, I think you could make the case that we should be getting out of mortgage-backed securities,” Lacker told reporters after a speech.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With the U.S. inflation rate about half of the Federal Reserve’s 2.0 percent target, the central bank is facing a major test and some experts wonder whether it will eventually need to ramp up its already aggressive bond buying program.
The Fed cut official interest rates effectively to zero in late 2008 during the financial crisis. Since then, it has bought more than $2.5 trillion in bonds to bolster an anemic economic recovery and speed up the decline in unemployment.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve’s debate over U.S. monetary policy could begin to shift away from the prospect of reducing stimulus toward a discussion about doing more, given the signs of economic weakness and slowing inflation.
But policymakers are not there yet.
At a two-day meeting that wraps up on Wednesday, the Fed is widely expected to maintain its monthly purchases of $85 billion in bonds to support an economic recovery that is nearly four years old but still too weak for the job market to truly heal.
CHACABUCO, Argentina, April 24 (Reuters) – Sales of
Argentine soybeans are lagging this season due to expectations
for higher world prices later and to domestic financial
uncertainty that has prompted farmers to save in beans rather
With world food demand on the rise, growers in the Pampas
grains belt are filling their silos with soy rather than
converting their crops into pesos, a currency that hit a new
all-time low in informal trade this week.
WASHINGTON, April 18 (Reuters) – Europe’s monetary union is
no longer in question as it was last year, French Finance
Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Thursday, even though the
continent’s economic struggles continue.
“There is still an economic crisis in Europe, it is a crisis
of insufficient growth. There is no longer a crisis of the euro
zone,” Moscovici said, adding that the European Central Bank’s
pledge to do whatever it takes to safeguard the single currency
had been a big help.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve’s policy of communicating future intentions on interest rates helps support employment and economic growth, Fed Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen said on Tuesday.
Yellen told an International Monetary Fund conference that she still believes the Fed’s stimulus efforts should be conducted within the context of a flexible inflation target, pushing back against the notion that central banks must rethink their mandates.
, April 10 (Reuters) – It is too soon for
the Federal Reserve to begin considering a tapering or halt of
its bond-buying stimulus program, Atlanta Fed President Dennis
Lockhart said on Wednesday.
“A lot of focus on that at the moment is maybe a bit
premature,” Lockhart told reporters during a press briefing on
the sidelines of an Atlanta Fed conference. “We have to wait and
watch how the data come in and see how the economy evolves.”