Five years into the U.S. economic expansion, inflation shows little sign of picking up as prices rise more slowly for goods and services from automobiles to medical care, complicating the Federal Reserve’s drive to guide the economy away from the precipice of deflation.
Prices for single-family homes rose in 73 percent of U.S. cities in the fourth quarter, fewer than in the previous three months, as surging values in the past two years started to reduce affordability.
Here’s what to look for when Janet Yellen testifies before the House Financial Services Committee today in her first public remarks since becoming Federal Reserve chairman on Feb. 3. Yellen’s prepared remarks will be released at 8:30 a.m., and the hearing will begin at 10 a.m. Yellen plans to speak to the Senate Banking Committee on Feb. 13 in a second day of semi-annual testimony.
Five years into the era of quantitative easing pioneered by departing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, two economists say they’ve measured how much extra stimulus the bond purchases provide when the main interest rate is already near zero.
Here’s what to look for when the Federal Open Market Committee releases a statement today at 2 p.m. after a two-day meeting in Washington. It will be the last meeting for Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, who isn’t scheduled to give a press conference.
The global economic expansion is speeding up, data this week are projected to show. In the U.S., a gain in fourth-quarter gross domestic product probably completed the strongest six months of growth in almost two years for the world’s largest economy. The pickup combined with progress in the labor market means Federal Reserve policy makers meeting this week may ease up again on the monetary accelerator.
Elizabeth Duke’s resignation from the Federal Reserve Board and Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s potential departure in January could set off a series of vacancies and appointments that give President Barack Obama the opportunity to leave his mark on the Fed for a decade or longer.