You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Economy

  • US consumer prices unchanged in October
    U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in October as a fourth straight decline in gasoline costs helped to keep inflation at bay.
  • US unemployment aid applications fall to 291,000
    The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits declined slightly last week, suggesting that job gains should remain solid.
  • G-20 leaders agree on $2 trillion boost to growth
    Under pressure to jolt the lethargic world economy back to life, leaders of G-20 nations on Sunday finalized a plan to boost global GDP by more than $2 trillion over five years. The fanfare, however, was overshadowed by tensions between Russian
Advertisement
Other reports
Job openings: U.S. employers advertised slightly fewer jobs in August than July, while they filled the most positions in three months, offering a mixed signal on the job market.
The Labor Department said job openings dropped by 32,000 to 3.56 million in August. July’s openings were also revised lower.
Wholesale inventories: U.S. wholesalers increased their stockpiles in August and their sales rose for the first time in four months. The gains could provide a boost to the still-weak economy.
The Commerce Department said wholesale stockpiles grew 0.5 percent in August after a 0.6 percent increase in July.
– Associated Press

Housing gives US growth a boost

– Stronger housing markets helped boost economic growth at the end of the summer in nearly every region of the United States, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday.

The Fed said growth improved in 10 of its 12 regional banking districts from mid-August through September, while leveling off in one region and slowing in another. Rising home sales helped lift home prices in most districts.

The report, known formally as the Beige Book, also cited an increase in auto sales in most parts of the country. Still, consumer spending was flat or up only slightly in most districts. Manufacturing activity was mixed, with half of the districts reporting slight improvement since the previous Fed report. And hiring was unchanged in most districts.

Sal Gauatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, said the August report represents a subtle shift in the central bank’s outlook. The economy improved to growing “modestly,” he noted, from growing only “gradually” in the previous report.

The Beige Book provides anecdotal information on business conditions around the country. The information collected by the Fed’s 12 regional banks will be used as the basis for the Fed’s policy discussion at the Oct. 23-24 meeting. Economists expect no major moves at the meeting because the Fed adopted aggressive new policies in September.

The Fed is buying mortgage bonds to lower longer-term rates, which could spur more borrowing and spending. And the Fed plans to keep short-term interest rates near zero until at least mid-2015, even after the recovery shows signs of strengthening.

By making borrowing cheaper, the Fed hopes to fuel the modest housing recovery. When home prices rise, people tend to feel wealthier and spend more freely. Consumer spending drives nearly 70 percent of economic activity.

Advertisement