Fed’s Lacker leaves central bank over role in leak of Fed’s September 2012 policy meeting

Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker abruptly left the U.S. central bank on Tuesday after admitting that a conversation he had with a Wall Street analyst in 2012 may have disclosed confidential information about Fed policy options. The 2012 leak had triggered a criminal investigation after research firm Medley Global Advisors told its clients the details of a key Fed meeting a day before the Fed released its own record of the discussion…

U.S. housing starts jump 3.0% to near 9-1/2-year high, jobless claims drop

U.S. homebuilding jumped in February likely as unseasonably warm weather boosted the construction of single-family houses to near a 9-1/2-year high, suggesting the economy remained on solid ground despite an apparent slowdown in the first quarter. Other data on Thursday showed a drop in the number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits last week, pointing to a further tightening in the labor market…

U.S. consumer sentiment still at 10-year high despite falling short in February

A gauge of consumer sentiment fell slightly in February, but remained near a decadelong high, as self-identified Republicans and Independents remain confident in the economy after the election of Donald Trump. Still, the survey remains divided along partisan, political lines. Self-identified Democrats expect a recession while Republicans expecting robust growth…

Political uncertainty has driven gold demand up by 70%, highest level since 2013

The Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump drove global demand for gold to a four-year high in 2016, as pension funds and other institutional investors piled into the precious metal while higher prices put consumers off jewellery purchases. Global gold demand rose 2% last year to reach 4,309 tonnes, the highest level since 2013, according to a report from the World Gold Council, which represents gold miners…

U.S. economy grew 1.9% y/y in the 4th quarter, slowest pace of growth since 2011

America had another year of sluggish growth. The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 1.6% in 2016, the Commerce Department reported Friday. In the last three months of the year — between October and December — the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.9%. It’s the slowest pace of growth since 2011. It reflects how slow the recovery has been for many Americans since the Great Recession, which ended in 2009…

IMF pushes up U.S. growth forecast for 2017 to 2.3%

U.S. economic growth should get a lift from stimulus measures under Donald Trump’s presidency, but it won’t hit the speed he promised anytime soon. That’s according to the International Monetary Fund, which has pushed up its forecasts for the world’s largest economy. Companies, workers, investors and governments around the globe are hoping to get a clearer picture of Trump’s economic policies after his inauguration Friday…

UK’s pound falls amid concerns of ‘hard’ Brexit ahead of Theresa May’s government plans

Britain’s pound fell on Monday as concern rose that the country is heading for a “hard” Brexit from the European Union and its single market, a day before a speech by Prime Minister Theresa May on the government’s plans. Some British newspapers have billed May’s speech on Tuesday as a shift away from preferential EU […]

U.S. economy would grow faster under Trump’s tax and spending plans: IMF

The International Monetary Fund on Monday said the U.S. economy would grow faster than previously expected in 2017 and 2018 based on the incoming Trump administration’s tax and spending plans, but it kept its global growth forecasts unchanged due to weakness in some emerging markets. Updating its World Economic Outlook, the IMF forecast overall global growth at 3.4 percent for 2017 and 3.6 percent for 2018, unchanged from October…

U.S. economy grew 3.5% in third quarter, best quarter of growth in two years

America gained a little more momentum than previously thought. The U.S. economy grew 3.5% in the third quarter — July to September — compared to the same time a year ago, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. It’s the best quarter of growth in two years. The first estimate, published in October, had the economy growing at 2.9% in the third quarter…

322,000 job openings in U.S. manufacturing, same level as in 2007

President-elect Donald Trump wants to “bring the jobs back.” But there already are many job openings right here in America, even in manufacturing. The bigger challenge is filling them. In October, there were 322,000 job openings in manufacturing — about the same level as in 2007. It has tripled since hitting a low of 99,000 during the recession in 2009…

U.S. existing home sales edged up 0.7% in November, hit 10-year high

U.S. home resales unexpectedly rose in November, reaching their highest level in nearly 10 years, likely as buyers rushed into the market to lock in low interest rates in anticipation of further increases in borrowing costs. The third straight monthly increase in existing home sales, reported by the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday, suggested housing would contribute to economic growth in the fourth quarter after being a drag in the previous two quarters…

Yen decline boosts Japan’s exports in November

Japan’s export performance improved strongly in November as rapid decline in the yen and a recovery in overseas demand boosted shipments from the trade sector, handily beating economists’ expectations. Ministry of Finance (MOF) data showed on Monday that exports fell 0.4 percent in the year to November. That compares with the 2.0 percent annual decline expected by economists in a Reuters poll, and follows a 10.3 percent decline in the year to October…

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