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Economy in Chicago region cools in July but still running hot, PMI shows

  • July 31, 2017
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The economy in the Chicago region grew rapidly in July but cooled a bit from earlier in the summer, indicating that businesses are still confident despite political drama in Washington. The Chicago business barometer, or Chicago PMI, slipped to 58.9 in July from a three-year high of 65.7 in June, MNI Indicators said Monday. The

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Fed’s Fischer says fiscal, regulatory measures best cure for global low interest rates

  • July 31, 2017
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Monetary policy must take a back seat to fiscal and regulatory measures in the struggle to get the global economy out of its low-interest-rate doldrums, said Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, on Monday. Interest rates are not only near historic lows in the U.S., but also in the euro area, the U.K. and Japan,

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U.S. employment costs rise 0.5% in 2nd quarter, ECI shows

  • July 28, 2017
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The cost of employing the average U.S. worker showed little acceleration despite the tightest labor market in years. Economists had expected a 0.6% gain in the employment cost index. Still, there’s little evidence of a broad upswing in the cost of labor. Over the past 12 months, employment costs have risen an unadjusted 2.4%, the

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Second-quarter U.S. GDP speeds up to 2.6%

  • July 28, 2017
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GDP rebounded from soft patch at the start of the year. Consumer spending, the main engine of the economy, led the way with a 2.8% increase, according to Commerce Department data. Business investment in equipment rose 8.2%, while outlays on structures advanced 4.9%. In a bit of a surprise, the value of inventories fell slightly

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U.S. jobless claims climb 10,000 to 244,000

  • July 27, 2017
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The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits rose in late July but remained near the lowest level in decades, mirroring a red-hot labor market that shows little sign of cooling. The average of new claims over the past month, which gives a more stable picture of layoff trends, was unchanged at 244,000.

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Fed says it will start reducing the balance sheet ‘relatively soon’

  • July 26, 2017
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The Federal Reserve took a step toward reducing its $4.5 trillion balance sheet, as the Federal Open Market Committee statement said its previously announced drawdown program would begin “relatively soon” instead of simply “this year.” In a unanimous decision, the Fed as expected held its targeted federal funds rate range between 1% and 1.25%. The

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New-home sales tread water, miss Wall Street estimates

  • July 26, 2017
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Sales of newly-constructed homes remained steady in June even as the market remains starved for inventory. New-home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That was 0.8% above May’s 605,000 rate, after a slight downward revision. June’s tally was 9.1% higher than a year ago.

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Treasury yields extend rise ahead of Fed meeting

  • July 25, 2017
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Treasury yields across the curve continued to rise on Tuesday following two straight weeks of declines as traders sold government paper ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting on Wednesday, which could set the market up for the looming normalization of the central bank’s balance sheet. The 10-year benchmark yield added 3.6 basis points to

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Major metro area home prices up 5.7% year-over-year

  • July 25, 2017
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The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index maintained a 5.6 percent annual gain in May, even as a key composite declined. The index which covers home prices in 20 cities across the U.S. was up 5.7 percent in May, a decline from April and 0.1 percent below expectation.

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U.S. economy poised for faster growth? Leading indicators say yes

  • July 20, 2017
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A broad measure of how well the U.S. economy is performing surged in June after a strong gain in May, suggesting growth could speed up in the months ahead. The leading economic index jumped 0.6% last month after a revised 0.4% increase in May

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