Short-Term Interest Rate Increase Possibly Delayed
The minutes from late April’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting highlighted that despite the United States’ slowing economic growth, its outlook remained mostly unchanged for the rest of the year. The Federal Reserve projects growth of 2.3 to 2.7 percent in 2015 and the unemployment rate to fall to right around 5 percent. With this in mind, it is possible that the Federal Reserve’s increase of short-term interest rates might not occur at the June meeting as planned, but rather in September. To learn more, visit here.
Excluding Transportation, New Durable Goods Order Up for Second Straight Month
If you remove the transportation sector figures, new durable goods orders improved 0.5 percent in April, building off the 0.6 percent gain in March and marking the second straight monthly increase. Transportation figures were excluded because aircraft sales are often bulked together in batches, making them more volatile month to month. If you add in the transportation sector, then durable goods orders declined by 0.5 percent in April, according to the Census Bureau. To learn more, visit here.
Consumer Confidence Rebounded a Little in May
According to the Conference Board, Americans are more confident today than they were one year ago and they were slightly more upbeat for the month of May, with consumer sentiment edging higher than last month (from 94.3 in April to 95.4 in May). The data indicates that despite this increase, the public remains anxious about employment and income growth, mirroring softer-than-desired economic data in the early months of this year. To learn more, visit here.
U.S. Economy Contracts in the First Quarter for the Second Year in a Row
In similar fashion to the first quarter of last year, the U.S. economy shrank (by 0.7 percent) in the first quarter of 2015, according to the latest revision by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This data reflects the strong headwinds on the economy including weaknesses abroad, a strong U.S. dollar, lower crude oil prices, the residual effects of the West Coast ports slowdown, bad weather in some regions of the country and a still-cautious consumer. To learn more, visit here.