Banks and the Economy

Builder Confidence Remained Solid in April

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index fell to 68 in April, a three point decrease from March’s reading of 71. “Even with this month’s modest drop, builder confidence is on very firm ground, and builders are reporting strong interest among potential home buyers,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. ...

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ABA Submits Bipartisan Economic Growth Ideas to Crapo, Brown

ABA today urged the leaders of the Senate Banking Committee to focus on expanding portfolio mortgage lending, modernizing rules on brokered deposits, enhancing bank innovation and providing relief from unnecessary stress tests -- all of which would be bipartisan, common-sense policies to promote economic growth.

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Retail Sales Fell in March

There were $470.8 billion in retail and food service sales in March, down 0.2% from the previous month and up 5.2% from March 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. February’s estimate was revised from up 0.1% to down 0.3%. Core retail sales – excluding automobiles and parts – were unchanged for the second consecutive month. Year-over-year core sales increased ...

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CPI Decreased 0.3% in March

The Consumer Price Index decreased 0.3% in March on a seasonally adjusted basis. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index rose 2.4%. Prices for all items less food and energy, the “core CPI,” decreased 0.1% in March, down from February’s 0.2% increase. The index rose 2.0% for the 12 months ending in March. The food index increased 0.3%. Prices ...

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Studies: Obama-Era Rules May Hinder Growth and Harm Competition

The first broad-scale academic assessment of new financial rules and standards put in place during the Obama presidency -- including the Dodd-Frank Act, Basel III and the CARD Act -- finds “causes for concern” about the impact of the rules on growth, credit availability and competition.

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Producer Prices Declined 0.1% in March

Producer prices fell 0.1% in March, seasonally adjusted, after climbing 0.3% in February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Producer prices rose 2.3% for the twelve months ended March 2017, which is the largest increase since the twelve months ended March 2012. The index for final demand goods also fell 0.1% in March. The decrease was led by ...

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Report: Trump ‘Very Close’ to Fed Nominations

President Trump is “very close” to nominating a Federal Reserve vice chairman for supervision and another governor to fill a designated seat for an individual with community bank expertise, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who was interviewed with Trump by the Wall Street Journal.

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Survey: Fewer Minority Youth Aspire to Start Businesses

While overall youth aspirations to start businesses and invent innovative products has remained steady or declined gently, the percentage of ethnic or racial minority young people who say they plan to start their own company has fallen by double digits in five years, according to the latest Gallup/Operation Hope index of young Americans’ economic energy.

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Small Business Optimism Held Strong in March

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index decreased 0.6 points in March to 104.7, maintaining the high level of post-election optimism. Three of the ten index components rose, while five declined. Reported job creation has improved, as 51% of businesses reported hiring or trying to hire. However, 45% reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to ...

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