Banks and the Economy

Fed Raises Rates for First Time Since 2006

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) unanimously voted to raise the target range for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 0.25 to 0.50 percent. Today’s widely expected move marked the first change in the federal funds rate since it was cut to virtually zero during the crisis in 2008. The projected policy path for the federal ...

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Industrial Production Fell in November

Industrial production declined 0.6 percent in November, after a 0.4 percent decline in October. Total industrial production is now 1.2 percent below the year ago level. Manufacturing output was unchanged in November, as a 0.5 percent increase in the output of nondurable goods was offset by a 0.2 percent decline in durable goods production. Mining output fell 1.1 percent, after ...

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Housing Starts Rose in November

Housing starts increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.173 million in November, 10.5 percent above the revised October estimate of 1.062 million and 16.5 percent above the November 2014 rate. Housing starts have remained above the 1.0 million rate for eight consecutive months. Housing activity was mixed across regions, rising 21.3 percent in the South and 6.3 percent ...

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Builder Confidence Fell Slightly in December

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) fell one point to 61 in December, marking the second consecutive monthly decline in the index after a 10-year high in October. All three index components posted losses for the month. Current sales conditions fell one point to 66, while the indices for buyer traffic and sales expectations in ...

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CPI Remained Unchanged in November

The Consumer Price Index was unchanged in November, but increased 0.4 percent over the last 12 months, before seasonal adjustment. This is the largest 12-month increase since the 12-month period ending December 2014. The energy index fell 1.3 percent after increasing by 0.3 percent in October. Prices for gasoline fell by 2.4 percent on the month after a 0.4 percent increase ...

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Retail Sales Rose 0.2 Percent in November

There were $448.1 billion of retail and food service sales in November (after adjustment for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes), a monthly increase of 0.2 percent according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Retail sales increased 1.4 percent from November 2014. Core retail sales – excluding automobile and parts grew 0.4 percent after a ...

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Producer Prices Increased in November

Producer prices increased 0.3 percent in November, seasonally adjusted, after decreasing 0.4 percent in October according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. November’s increase was attributable to an increase in prices for final demand services. Prices for final demand goods fell 0.1 percent, the fifth consecutive month of decreases. Over 90 percent of the decline in goods prices can ...

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Household Net Worth Dipped in Third Quarter

Household net worth fell $1.2 trillion during the third quarter of 2015 to $85.2 trillion, a 1.4 percent decrease from the previous quarter but a 2.9 percent increase from a year ago. Household holdings of nonfinancial assets increased during the third quarter, growing 1.8 percent. The majority of this increase came from real estate holdings, which increased by $482.0 billion. ...

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