Jobless Claims in U.S. Drop to Lowest Level Since May 2007
(04/10/14) Victoria Stilwell
The number of people applying for unemployment benefits in the week ended April 5 fell by 32,000 to 300,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the lowest level since May 2007 and a sign that the labor market continues to strengthen. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast claims ranging from 310,000 to 330,000. The four-week moving average of new claims fell from 321,000 to 316,250, the lowest level since the end of September.
Fed Shows Growing Worry About Low Inflation
Wall Street Journal
(04/09/14) Jon Hilsenrath
U.S. Federal Reserve officials are concerned that the nation’s inflation rate will not move from low levels, amid concerns among central bankers about the weakness in the global economy. The central bank had hoped that the strengthening U.S. economy would push very low inflation from 1% toward the 2% mark, but three months into the new year, there is little proof of such movement. The officials raised these concerns at the last policy-making meeting in March, and some suggested making a more explicit commitment to keep short-term interest rates pinned near zero until inflation moves upward, but the committee instead opted for a wait-and-see approach.
Fed’s Tarullo: Uncertainty Over Labor Market Slack Means Fed Must Proceed ‘Pragmatically’
Wall Street Journal
(04/09/14) Victoria McGrane
Policy makers should be careful when assessing economic inflationary pressures because the labor market is still underperforming, according to U.S. Federal Reserve Gov. Daniel Tarullo. Policy makers should be pragmatic and wait for evidence that labor markets have tightened enough to trigger pressures that could push inflation above the Fed’s 2% target, he said. Unemployment figures, the number of long-term jobless, and the number of part-time workers who want full-time jobs indicate a weak job market.
Fed Dropped Jobless Target in Secret Meeting
(04/09/14) Greg Robb
The U.S. Federal Reserve dropped its jobless target of 6.5% unemployment to prompt a first interest rate hike during a video conference last month because officials decided it was outdated. The market is in agreement about the outlook for short-term interest rates, which will remain low even after the first rate hike.
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