Federal Reserve Does Not Raise Rates at September Meeting
At their September meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced that they would not raise interest rates at this time, citing the need for more time to evaluate incoming data in order to ensure sufficient progress. All eyes now turn to the December meeting as the most likely option for a short-term interest rate increase. It is being speculated that the Federal Reserve will implement three increases spread out over even intervals throughout 2016 in amounts that will equal a full percentage point by the end of next year. To learn more, visit here.
Retail Sales Growth Slows in August
Retail sales grew 0.2 percent in August, slowing from the 0.7 percent rise seen in July, according to the Census Bureau. Despite it being the fourth increase in the past six months, the public remains cautious in their willingness to open their pocketbooks. Miscellaneous store retailers, health and personal care stores, food and beverage stores, motor vehicles and part dealers and food services and drinking places showed the largest gains for the month. In contrast, materials and garden supplies, gasoline stations and furniture and home furnishings were down in August. To learn more, visit here.
Manufacturing Production Declines in August
Manufacturing production has declined in three of the past four months, falling back 0.5 percent in August after rebounding strongly in July. Ten of the 19 major manufacturing sectors experienced declining output for the month, illustrating the significant challenges faced by manufacturing in the current global economic environment. The strong U.S. dollar, reduced crude oil prices and continuing economic challenges abroad have dampened the demand for manufactured goods and renewed anxieties about the coming months. To learn more, visit here.
New York Manufacturing Activity Continues to Contract
For the second straight month, New York manufacturing activity continued to reflect sharp contractions in activity in September, according to the Empire State Manufacturing Survey. At the lowest levels since April 2009, the underlying data was negative across the board, including a weaker labor market. Moreover, there are also some signs of continuing challenges, with the average workweek and inventories both expected to decline moving forward and technology spending slowing to a near crawl. To learn more, visit here.