Federal Reserve officials begin a pivotal two-day meeting Tuesday facing a dilemma. The economy is showing enough improvement to justify dialing back some of the Feds life support, yet financial markets are terrified of what might happen and are taking it out on the housing sector.
The U.S. economy is on sounder footing than it was a year ago but is still being restrained by government spending cuts and tax increases, the International Monetary Fund said Friday.
The U.S. economy added a solid 175,000 jobs in May, but the unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent.
Results are an improvement over the prior three months but fell short of analyst expectations.
Pressure built Friday on the Federal Reserve to signal whether its ready to begin scaling back its controversial economic stimulus efforts, after a status-quo May jobs report from the government sparked an unusual Wall Street rally.
Germany's central bank on Friday lowered its growth forecast for this year but said a recovery had already started, as evidenced by a rise in export and industry figures in Europe's largest economy.
More Americans hunted for jobs in May, and more companies filled them - signs of confidence and resilience for the slow-healing U.S. economy.
Chairman Ben Bernanke is a deft communicator who will leave the Federal Reserve once his second term ends in January and should be succeeded by Vice Chairman Janet Yellen.
The Bank of England has opted not to pump more money into the British economy.
A debate is raging among investors and analysts: Has the Federal Reserve inflated a stock market bubble by driving interest rates to record lows?
SERVICE FIRMS EXPANDS: The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday that service firms grew at a faster pace in May, driven by a jump in new orders. The group's index of service-sector growth rose to 53.7 from 53.1 in April. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.
U.S. service firms grew at a faster pace in May, driven by a jump in new orders. But a measure of hiring showed companies added fewer jobs.
Don’t let the soaring stock market and applause from politicians over a slight dip in the unemployment rate fool you. A deeper dive into government data underscores just how bleak the picture still is in today’s labor market.
A surprisingly positive jobs report Friday showed that employers added 165,000 positions in April and the unemployment rate fell to a four-year low of 7.5 percent, sparking a day of milestones on Wall Street as investors looked past doubts about robust hiring in the months ahead.
The Federal Reserve, in a carefully worded shift in language, signaled new concern Wednesday that constraints on federal spending are slowing the economy.