Banks and the Economy

Yellen Signals Greater Transparency in Stress Tests

In a letter to Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) last week, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that the Fed will provide banks with more details on the stress testing process in response to calls from lawmakers and others -- including ABA -- for greater transparency.

Read More »

Housing Starts Declined in May

Housing starts fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.092 million in May, 5.5% below the revised April rate of 1.156 million and 2.4% below the May 2016 rate. Housing activity increased 1.3% in the West and remained at the same level in the Northeast. The Midwest and South experienced declines of 9.2% and 8.8%, respectively. New building permits ...

Read More »

ABA: Regulations Should Be Tailored Based on Risk, Business Model

Regulations based on asset size are “inappropriate and needlessly burdensome” for many banks with non-complex business models, and ultimately lead to higher costs and fewer choices for consumers, ABA said in written testimony submitted for a Senate Banking Committee hearing on regulatory relief for midsize and regional banks today.

Read More »

Builder Confidence Decreases Slightly in June

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index weakened slightly to 67 in June, a two point decrease from May’s downwardly revised reading of 69. “Builder confidence levels have remained consistently sound this year, reflecting the ongoing gradual recovery of the housing market,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. All three ...

Read More »

Industrial Production Unchanged in May

Industrial production remained unchanged in May after a revised 1.1% April increase, according to the Federal Reserve. April’s jump was the largest since February 2014. A drop in manufacturing output was offset by increases in mining and utilities output to keep the index flat in May. Manufacturing output fell 0.4% in May after a revised 1.1% increase in April. Production ...

Read More »

Fed Outlines Plans for Swollen Balance Sheet

In addition to the rate hike announced today, the Federal Open Market Committee released a policy statement explaining how it plans to reduce the Fed's balance sheet, which is swollen with securities purchased as part of the quantitative easing programs between 2008 and 2014.

Read More »

Fed Raises Rates for Third Time in Six Months

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted to raise the target range for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 1 to 1.25 percent. Like in March, the vote was near unanimous, with Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari once again casting the only dissenting vote, wanting to hold rates steady. The projected policy path for the federal ...

Read More »

Retail Sales Slipped in May

There were $473.8 billion in retail and food service sales in May, down 0.3% from the previous month and up 3.8% from May 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Core retail sales – excluding automobiles and parts – also fell 0.3%. Year-over-year core sales increased 3.8%. Retail trade sales decreased 0.3% from April and are up 4.0% from last ...

Read More »