Economic Measures Inflation

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    Economics is known as an imprecise science and one might need look no further than the business of calling recessions to see that. Unlike the weather, recessions arrive before you know it and depart under the same circumstances.

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    "It is not the responsibility of the Federal Reserve--nor would it be appropriate--to protect lenders and investors from the consequences of their financial decisions. But developments in financial markets can have broad economic effects felt by many outside the markets, and the Federal Reserve must take those effects into account when determining policy."

  • Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke delivers the board's Monetary Policy Report to the Senate Banking Committee in Washington Wednesday, July 19, 2006. "The recent rise in inflation is of concern," and possible increases in the prices of oil as well as other raw materials "remain a risk to the inflation outlook," Bernanke said. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

    The Fed will take the necessary steps to shelter the economy from turmoil in financial markets but will not bail out investors, Chairman Ben Bernanke said.

  • President Bush outlined reforms on Friday aimed at helping subprime mortgage borrowers. This marks the administration's first public response to the subprime housing crisis since the problem began gathering in February.

  • Here are the latest video reports from Jackson Hole, Wyo., where Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the central bank is prepared to act "as needed" to help provide liquidity to the financial system but won't bail out investors who made bad decisions.

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    On Friday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will address the annual monetary conference held in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Amid the U.S. subprime mortgage mess, tightening global credit and a volatile market, everyone is waiting on what Bernanke will say -- and do.

  • Economic data released Friday showed inflation under control in July while U.S. factories were busier than forecast, portraying a resilient economy in little need of an interest rate cut.

  • President Bush outlined reforms to help struggling subprime mortgage borrowers. This is the president's first formal response to the subprime housing crisis since the problem began snowballing this past February.

  • Core U.S. consumer prices rose by a less-than-expected 0.1 percent in July, showing stable prices that held the year-on-year rate of nonfood, nonenergy inflation to 1.9 percent for the second month in a row, the Commerce Department said Friday.

  • Inflation numbers are good for those who want a rate cut. The PCE deflator shows moderating inflation. U.S. futures--as well as European bourses--are also rallying because of President Bush's proposal to help homeowners who cannot pay their mortgages.

  • Euro zone inflation was stable at the European Central Bank's target for the 12th straight month in August but consumer expectations of inflation jumped and economic sentiment weakened more than expected, data showed.

  • Japan's jobless rate hit a 9-1/2-year low in July, but consumption remained soft and core consumer prices marked a sixth straight month of declines. Industrial production also fell in the month, but that was largely due to an earthquake on July 16, and output is forecast to jump in August.

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is poised to make what may be his most important speech to date on Friday, when he addresses the annual monetary policy symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyo.  CNBC's senior economics reporter Steve Liesman is stationed at Jackson Hole, offering the latest developments as they happen.

  • Ben Bernanke

    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is under intense pressure to signal a rate cut when he takes center stage Friday at a gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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    Strong business investment and higher exports drove the U.S. economy ahead at a robust 4 percent annual rate in the second quarter before turmoil in credit markets struck that is expected to brake growth ahead.

  • The U.S. Federal Reserve is not rushing to cut benchmark interest rates because it wants to break investors of the view that the central bank is there to bail them out, an article in the Wall Street Journal said on Thursday.

  • Ben Bernanke, President Bush's top economic adviser, speaks in the Oval Office at the White House after Bush named him to take over the Federal Reserve from retiring Alan Greenspan, in Washington, Monday, Oct. 24, 2005. It was the third time in as many years the president has turned to the 51-year-old Bernanke for a sensitive post. Bush named him to the Fed board in 2002, then made him chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers earlier this year. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    CEOs, politicians and economists are bringing up the "R" word these days. And nearly all of them have a simple solution: the Fed should cut interest rates--and soon.

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  • Ben Bernanke

    Fed policymakers in early August acknowledged they might have to  ease a growing credit crunch but hoped for "more normal market conditions" without intervention.