December 12, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve, maintaining its aggressive efforts to stimulate a slow-growing economy burdened by high unemployment, said it would continue its large-scale bond-buying programs in the new year and, for the first time, announced explicit unemployment- and inflation-rate targets for when the central bank would raise interest rates. Top Fed policymakers, at the end of their last meeting of the year Wednesday, left short-term interest rates near zero and said they were now likely to keep them there until the jobless rate fell to 6.5% or lower and the medium-term outlook for inflation exceeded 2.5%.
May 10, 2012 |
BEIJING - Inflation in China moderated last month in another sign that the world's second-largest economy is cooling. Consumer prices grew 3.4% from a year earlier, China's National Bureau of Statistics said Friday. That's down from 3.6% year-over-year growth in March. “We think the inflation outlook for this year is benign,” analysts at IHS Global Insight in Beijing told clients in a research note Friday. The data release comes a day after China reported surprisingly weak trade numbers for April.
April 25, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve upgraded its outlook for the economy, predicting the unemployment rate would fall to as low as 7.8% in the fourth quarter - a drop that could have a significant effect on the presidential election. Just three months ago, most Fed policymakers expected the nation's jobless figure to be 8.2%, its current rate, or higher in the last three months of the year. The improved outlook, issued Wednesday at the end of a two-day Fed meeting, reflects a sharper-than-expected drop in unemployment in recent months and projections for slightly faster economic growth this year, including some improvement in the downtrodden housing market.
April 10, 2012 |
China's inflation rate rose slightly in March, raising concerns about the government's ability to stimulate the economy should growth falter in coming months. Rising food and fuel prices helped drive China's consumer price index up 3.6% from the same month last year, China's National Bureau of Statistics said Monday. That was up from a 3.2% rate in February. China raised its retail prices for gasoline and diesel March 20 for the second time in six weeks, increases that probably contributed to the rising food costs.
March 10, 2012 |
China's annual inflation rate fell to a 20-month low in February, giving policymakers room to ease lending at a time of slowing economic growth. "The inflation story is over, leaving [China's central bank] with fewer excuses not to step up its easing efforts, especially given a sharp slowdown in exports so far this year," said Qu Hongbin, co-head of Asian Economics Research for HSBC, in a note to clients Friday. "Get ready for more steps toward policy easing. " Consumer prices rose 3.2% from February of last year, down from 4.5% annual growth in January, China's National Bureau of Statistics said Friday.
February 24, 2012 |
Confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly rose in February as Americans became more hopeful about economic growth. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment increased to 75.3 from 75 in January. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey called for 73, which was above the 72.5 preliminary reading. The gauge averaged 89 in the five years before the 18-month recession that ended in June 2009. Fewer job cuts, faster payroll growth and rallying stock prices are supporting consumer sentiment and the spending that accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.