Economic Forecasts

US Fed holds interest rates at record low

The U.S. Federal Reserve decided to leave interest rates unchanged, saying the current recovery will not result in rampant inflation, the board announced Wednesday.

The central bank kept the target range for its federal funds at between zero per cent and one-quarter of one percentage point, a record low level for the benchmark rate. Read more.


Fall in US jobless claims brings hope

Fewer US workers made first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, giving hope that accelerating economic growth would soon translate into job creation, official figures showed on Thursday.

Initial jobless claims fell by 11,000 to 448,000, according to the Department of Labor. Analysts were hoping for a bigger fall, but the decline brought claims to the lowest level in a month. Read more.


US Businesses Wary About Protectionism In China

A new survey from the American Chamber of Commerce in China indicated that concern is growing among U.S. businesses in the country that protectionist policies are threatening their long-term future in a key market, even while they remain optimistic about an economy that has rebounded strongly from the global recession.

The annual AmCham-China survey of its members—a barometer of sentiment among U.S. investors in China—reflects worries that China’s three-decades-long push for open markets could be stalling, as the government increasingly seeks to favor state-owned domestic enterprises that have spearheaded the economic recovery. Read more.


Fed: Trim Deficit or Economy Will Be Hurt

Failing to curb federal budget deficits would do “great damage” to the U.S. economy in the long run, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Tuesday.

Bernanke again urged the White House and Congress to come up with a credible plan to reduce the nation’s red ink, which hit a record $1.4 trillion last year. Read more.


Cap and trade only will harm US economy

The Senate is considering legislation to let the federal government set a “cap” limiting the amount of carbon dioxide each business may emit. A company discharging less than its allowance could sell or “trade” its unused portion to another firm that had reached its limit. Hence cap and trade.

This is supposed to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced by burning oil, coal and natural gas. Utilities, manufacturing and transportation rely on these fossil fuels and will face heavy taxes. President Barack Obama predicted electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Remember, 86 percent of Ohio’s electricity comes from coal-fired power plants. Read more.