WASHINGTON, Feb 27- U.S. economic growth braked more sharply than initially thought in the fourth quarter as businesses slowed their pace of stock accumulation and the trade deficit widened, but the underlying fundamentals remained solid. Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annual pace, revised down from the 2.6 percent pace estimated last month,...» Read More
Consumer price inflation in Britain eased to 2.8% in April, official figures showed Tuesday, but remained stubbornly above the government's target and kept up pressure on interest rates.
The French consumer price index for April showed higher-than-expected increases of 0.5% from March and 1.3% from a year earlier, the Insee statistics office said.
China's annual consumer inflation slowed a touch in April to 3.0% from a more than two-year high of 3.3% in March, but analysts said the result would reinforce the case for further monetary tightening measures.
Robert Brusca, chief economist at Fact and Opinion Economics, told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that strong employment and low inflation will continue to support consumer spending.
Andrew Wolf, retail and consumer sector analyst at BB&T Capital Markets, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that consumer spending is far from dead.
Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Friday he still believed there was a one-third chance that the U.S. economy would slip into recession this year, reiterating a statement made in March.
Bill Strazzullo, chief market strategist at Bell Curve Trading, told CNBC’s “Power Lunch” that investors should consider taking profits in the downbeat market and then prepare for another climb to record levels.
Unemployment has hit a five-year low, yet inflation remains a top concern. Has Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s first year on the job been good for America? “Morning Call” brought experts to debate. Michael Panzner, the author of “Financial Armageddon,” said Bernanke has people focused in the wrong direction. ... Greg Hess, dean of faculty at Claremont McKenna College, disagrees: “The Fed is clearly on its toes,” he said.
The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday held benchmark interest rates steady at 5.25% for a seventh straight meeting and again said its main worry is that inflation will fail to moderate. The widely expected decision by the U.S. central bank's Federal Open Market Committee keeps the overnight federal funds rate target at the level it hit in June after 17 straight quarter-percentage point increases.
The Federal Reserve is expected to keep interest rates steady on Wednesday, but some investors are hoping that the central bank may indicate that inflation pressures are easing.
The stock market may not be returning double-digit gains -- but Mark Jordahl, chief investment officer at First American Funds, and Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank, still believe "investors need to be in the market." The CIOs joined "Closing Bell" to explain why.
The U.S. Federal Reserve looks certain to hold interest rates steady when it meets this week and will likely restate worries on inflation, even while nodding to weak growth and an easing of price pressures.
Will dizzying gasoline prices slam the brakes on the U.S. economy this summer? Derek Burleton, senior economist at TD Bank Financial Group, and Jan Stuart, UBS oil economist, agree that prices will rise -- but aren't sounding any alarms yet. The two joined "Power Lunch" to talk about the pump's impact on the economy.
Australia's central bank on Friday cut its forecast for underlying inflation this year to 2.5%, right in the middle of its target band and suggesting a much-reduced risk of a rise in interest rates for the next few months.
The S&P 500, which passed 1,500 for the first time in seven years Thursday, could reach 1,650 this year, according to Tony Dwyer, equity market strategist for FTN Midwest Securities. “I think we’re going to have double-digit returns from here,” Dwyer said on "Morning Call."
Robert Levitt, president and chief investment officer at Levitt Capital Management, told CNBC’s “Morning Call” that inflation, not a slowing economy, threatens to trip up the bull market.
Michael Darda, chief economist for MKM Partners, told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that the current market favors small-cap stocks and emerging markets.“We’re in an environment of massive liquidity, booming global growth and interest rates are still low,” Darda said Tuesday. “That favors smaller companies, emerging markets. The falling dollar favors international issues over domestic concerns.”
Michael Darda, chief economist at MKM Partners, told CNBC’s “Morning Call” that he doesn’t expect the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates anytime soon despite weakness in the latest economic report. But Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank, said he expects the Fed to cut interest rates to spur economic growth.
Edward Lazear, chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that the job market remains strong, suggesting economic strength and higher growth ahead.“The most important indicator to me is the labor market,” Lazear said. “It’s very strong. If the labor market were weak, if we were seeing job growth slow down, if we saw wage growth slow down, then I would be a bit more concerned about the GDP number.”
The Bank of Japan left its monetary policy unchanged at a board meeting on Friday, keeping the overnight call rate target at 0.5% as widely expected by financial markets. The decision by the nine-member board was unanimous.