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.
Treasuries fell for the first time in four days after Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Charles Plosser said the economy is on “firmer footing” and the central bank’s decision to cut debt purchases was a step in the right direction.
The U.S. has yet to recover from the credit crunch that crippled the economy and that’s continuing to restrain growth, said Tom Porcelli , chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets Corp. in New York.
Higher petroleum prices stemming from the turmoil in Egypt could “completely wipe out,” the benefits of the economic stimulus from lower Social Security taxes, said Tom Porcelli , senior economist at RBC Capital Markets Corp. in New York.
Assuming all merchants follow Toys “R” Us Inc.’s lead, U.S. retail payrolls during the holiday season will still fall short of the levels seen before the 2007- 2009 recession, RBC Capital Markets Corp. senior economist Tom Porcelli said.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. internal e- mails revealing the worst sales start to a month in at least seven years may be the first sign of a broader weakening in U.S. consumer spending as households grapple with the payroll-tax increase and delayed refunds.