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European Central Bank minutes show it is less likely to loosen policy, but cautious towards talk of tightening

  • May 18, 2017
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Top economists at the European Central Bank (ECB) said they were becoming less likely to continue loose monetary policy, according to minutes from the latest monetary policy meeting. The minutes said the central bank was “less likely” to opt for “further accommodation” because of the strengthening of the European economy. The minutes also revealed the

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Americans on unemployment rolls lowest since 1988

  • May 18, 2017
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So-called continuing claims, or the number of people collecting jobless benefits, fell by 22,000 to 1.9 million in early May. That’s the lowest level in 29 years. initial jobless claims fell by 4,000 last week to 232,000. That’s the second lowest weekly reading during the current economic recovery that began almost eight years ago

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Philly Fed index soars to 38.8 in May

  • May 18, 2017
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That’s well above the economist forecast for a reading of 19.6. It marked the 10 month above zero on an index where any reading above zero indicates improving conditions. Gauges of news orders and shipments remained at high levels in May, according to the survey. The Philly Fed index is much stronger than the Empire

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Housing starts ease to 1.17 million rate in April after strong first quarter

  • May 16, 2017
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The pace of home construction eased in April as builders took a breather after a strong start to the year. Housing starts ticked down 2.6% to a 1.17 million annual pace, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, and stood just 0.7% higher than in the same month last year. Permits fell 2.5% to a 1.23 million

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Inflation hits 2.7% driven by Easter air fares and clothes prices

  • May 16, 2017
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CPI measure of inflation went up to 2.7 percent in April, latest figures show. Increased from 2.3 percent the previous month amid squeeze on consumers. The figure represents the highest CPI inflation has reached since June 2013.

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U.S. industrial output jumps in April at fastest rate in more than three years

  • May 16, 2017
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Industrial production in April grew at the fastest monthly rate in more than three years, on the back of broad-based gains in the manufacturing sector. The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that industrial production grew 1% in April, topping the MarketWatch-compiled economist consensus for 0.5% growth. This is the fastest pace of growth since February 2014.

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Fed’s Harker backs two more rate hikes this year, saying ‘things are looking good

  • May 13, 2017
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The U.S. central bank can keep raising interest rates with the labor market at full health and inflation on track to stabilize at 2%, said Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker on Friday. “Overall, things are looking good,” Harker said in a speech to the Urban Economic Policy Conference at Drexel University. “We’re essentially at normal

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Retail sales strengthen in April, brightening economic outlook

  • May 12, 2017
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Consumers continue to shift shopping patterns online. Sales at U.S. retailers rose in April, and March sales were stronger than originally estimated, painting a stronger picture of American consumers than previously reported. Retail sales increased 0.4%, the Commerce Department said Friday, and were 4.5% higher compared to a year ago. A 0.2% monthly decline for

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U.S. consumer prices rebound in April

  • May 12, 2017
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Core index up 0.1%, softer than expected U.S. consumer prices rebounded in April, bolstering the Federal Reserve’s case for continued interest rate hikes. The consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in April because of higher energy costs, the Labor Department said Friday. This followed a 0.3% drop in the prior month. Energy prices

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Bank of England votes 7-1 to hold key rate at 0.25%

  • May 11, 2017
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The Bank of England on Thursday left its key interest rate at 0.25%, meeting widely held expectations. The vote to hold the rate steady was 7-1, with board member Kristen Forbes backing an increase. The central bank left unchanged the size of its asset purchase program at £435 billion ($562 billion) and its corporate-bond purchase

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