Economic Review for the Last Week
The European Central Bank took strong measures and dropped interest rates even more when they received growth and inflation rates that were weaker than their expectations. They decreased their deposit rate to -0.20% and interest rate to 0.05% and declared two new programs through which they will buy asset backed securities and bonds. The news announced the dropping of the euro to 1.29 US dollars.
The purchasing managers’ index was also changed downwards. The total Markit PMI output went down to 52.5, which is lower than the expected 52.8 and the 53.8 that was July’s concluding output. In July Eurozone’s retail sales decreased by 0.4%, after witnessing an increase of 0.3% in June. The decline in July was more than expected.
In the United Kingdom, the Bank of England managed to keep up its asset purchase ceiling at billion. It also managed to regulate its bank rate at 0.5%, which has been maintained since early 2009.
The finance minister of Germany, Wolfgang Schauble stated that they might miss their growth target of 1.8%, let alone exceed it, as he had expected two months earlier.
The economic status of US remained healthy, and the latest news pointed to a steady recovery. In August alone, employers made an addition of 142,000 jobs, which lowered the unemployment rate to 6.1%.
For the FOMC meeting that will take place in the mid September, the Fed issued their Beige Book. The spending rate of consumers and residential real estate happenings are positive, but reserved. Almost all of the districts have reported a lacking of skilled labor, and the price pressures stay low.
The pending home sales in July also increased more than expected. The trade gap in the US was also shortened by 0.6% in July to US billion because of the increase in imports and exports. The official increasing rates were 0.7% for imports and 0.9% for exports.
The Brent price decreased lower than last week, due to which energy stocks struggled.
The decrease in Chinese demand for iron-ore led to prices falling under /ton which is a record decrease in 5 years.
The Fed will set a rate during a period of full employment and steady inflation of 2%, this is defined as the neutral Fed rate. This Fed rate, even though it is just an estimate, still has a lot of significance, since it will act as a determinant for long-term bond yields.