Europe Makes It Tougher For the Fed To Raise Rates

Europe is going to have zero interest rates for a lot longer, and that is going to make it harder for the United States to stop having them itself. On Thursday, the European Central Bank all-but-announced it’s about to start doing more to keep its nascent recovery from not being one at all. That could mean buying bonds with newly printed money not just until September 2016, like it has said, but well past it. Or it could mean buying...

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Yellen’s ‘Hot’ Labor Market Evokes ’70s

Washington — Janet Yellen is pursuing a monetary policy with echoes from an era of bell-bottom jeans and New York Knicks’ basketball championships. And that’s got some economists worried. In an unorthodox move, the Fed chair has signaled her intention to keep interest rates low enough to temporarily push unemployment modestly below its long-run natural rate. She described in a speech last month how a tight job market could entice...

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What the Fed Wants to See For  Rate Hike

What the Fed Wants to See For Rate Hike

Washington — So what will it take for the Federal Reserve to finally raise interest rates? The U.S. economy is now in its seventh straight year of expansion. It’s growing at a steady if unexciting 2.2 percent annual rate. Unemployment has sunk from a 10 percent peak to a reassuring 5.1 percent. Auto and home sales have accelerated. Yet on Thursday, Fed officials declined to lift rates from record lows. The decision left some Fed...

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Fed Leaves Interest Rate Unchanged

Washington — The Federal Reserve ended weeks of speculation Thursday by keeping U.S. interest rates at record lows in the face of threats from a weak global economy, persistently low inflation and unstable financial markets. But at a news conference after a Fed policy meeting, Chairwoman Janet Yellen said a rate increase was still likely this year. A majority of Fed officials on the committee that sets the federal funds rate — which...

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Fed Decision May Hinge On Which Holds Sway: Data or Outlook

Washington — The Federal Reserve’s decision on whether to raise interest rates this month is coming down to a simple question: Are policymakers data dependent or outlook dependent? The flow of economic statistics from the government and elsewhere in the run-up the Fed’s Sept. 16-17 meeting, punctuated by Friday’s labor report, mostly suggests that the first rate increase in nine years would be justified. Automobile sales have been...

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