The rate hikes are coming! The rate hikes are coming! Eventually. Days after the Federal Reserve seemed to sound the alarm that the era of near-zero interest rates is ending, Chairman Ben Bernanke tempered those expectations a bit this week.
Labor market conditions have improved significantly in the past month or so. Combine this with the dramatic improvement in households' finances this year, and one is forced to ask: why is there still so much pessimism in regards to the economy?
The ECB did the unexpected today, cutting the interest rate to .25% from .50%.
Here is the ECB press release.
7 November 2013 - Monetary policy decisions
At today’s meeting the Governing Council of the ECB took the following monetary policy decisions:
EDMONTON — Albertans are about to face the largest spate of tax hikes in a generation.
Higher income tax, a health levy, and increased taxes on alcohol, tobacco and gasoline — the latter items set to become more expensive at 12:01 Friday morning — have all been written into Alberta’s fiscal plan this year as the province struggles to whittle away a $5 billion operating deficit and ballooning multi-billion dollar debt.
By Russell Glaser
Meeting minutes from the last monetary policy meeting for the Riksbank shows the Executive Board is ready tighten interest rates further should inflationary pressures fail to subside. This would likely lead to gains in the Swedish krona but the SEK remains pressured due to events in Europe.
The situation in Spain to another sharp turn for the worse. Employment looses are the greatest since 2009, tax revenue is declining, the deficit is increasing and the IIF wants inane tax hikes.
GDP Poised to Plunge, Deficit Poised to Rise
Michelle Galanter Applebaum submits: Baosteel Increasing February Sheet PricesAccording to press reports, China’s price leader Baosteel announced a planned 5% price increase on flat-rolled steel for February shipments, marking the third consecutive monthly rise. With January hikes now sticking well, we expect to see further price increases announced in China as well as Europe and the US.
The bank also lowered its benchmark interest rate to 0.50% from 0.75%, the first cut in 10 months.
Worries about eurozone persist, with data showing manufacturing activity across the 17-nation bloc shrank in April.
The ECB also extended its cheap loans to banks until at least July 2014, reports The BBC.
Official data released on Tuesday showed record high unemployment in the eurozone, and inflation at a three-year low.