The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the U.S. economy is losing strength and repeated a pledge to try to boost growth if hiring remains weak.
The Fed took no new action after a two-day policy meeting. But it appeared to signal in a statement released after the meeting a growing inclination to take further steps to lift the economy out of its funk. The Fed noted that growth had slowed over the first half of the year, with job creation slackening and consumer spending tapering off.
The Fed reiterated its plan to hold its benchmark short-term interest rate at a record-low near zero until at least late 2014.
Market reaction to the Feds announcement was muted. Stocks fluctuated slightly after the statement was released and ended the day lower.
Manufacturing shrank for second month
U.S. manufacturing shrank for the second straight month in July, further evidence of an economy growing at a sluggish pace.
The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Wednesday that its index of manufacturing activity ticked up to 49.8, from 49.7 in June.
A reading below 50 indicates contraction. June was the first time the survey showed manufacturing contracted in three years.
The reading points toward more slow growth but not another recession. The trade group says the index needs to fall below 43 to signal a recession is likely.
The July report also showed factories hired in at a slower pace than June, while new orders declined more slowly. And export orders fell to the lowest level since April 2009, evidence of slower global economic growth.
Dekko completes innovation center
Group Dekko on Thursday said it has completed the construction and renovation of the Group Dekko Innovation Center – a investment of more than $100,000 – at 11913 E. 450 S. in LaOtto.
Group Dekko, which has 1,250 associates in North America, employs about 30 people at the innovation center, but no new positions were created.
Associates employed at the innovation center, including engineering, quality and technical professionals, are dedicated to work with customers to develop new products, the company said in a news release. The Innovation Center offers testing, analysis, calibration and dimensional-measurement services.
We are excited about the cross-functional Research & Development that the Innovation Center will integrate into our new product development process, Jon A. Jensen, CEO at Group Dekko, said in a statement.
Glitch causes dozens of swings in stocks
A technical glitch on the stock market caused sharp swings in dozens of stocks early Wednesday, causing confusion and disarray in the first hour of trading.
It was the latest breakdown in the increasingly complicated electronic systems that run stock trading, which have been showing signs of strain as more traders and big investment firms use powerful computers to carry out trades in mere fractions of a second.
Coming less than three months after a snafu tarnished the debut of Facebook, the latest bug on Wall Street threatens to further erode investors confidence in U.S. financial markets.
This is a black eye, said Sal Arnuk, co-founder of Themis Trading and co-author of Broken Markets.