• Friday, February 28, 2020 - 14:30

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Federal Reserve on Friday released the following statement from Chair Jerome H. Powell:

    "The fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain strong. However, the coronavirus poses evolving risks to economic activity. The Federal Reserve is closely monitoring developments and their implications for the economic outlook. We will use our tools and act as appropriate to support the economy."

    --MNI Washington Bureau; +1 202-371-2121; email: jean.yung@marketnews.com

    [TOPICS: MMUFE$,M$U$$$]

  • Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 11:30

    --Chicago President's Speech Gives No Outlook on Rates, Coronavirus

    (MNI) - Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said Thursday the U.S. should commit to keeping inflation above target for periods of time following weakness and embrace extraordinary tools like asset purchases and forward guidance.

    Those moves would help in an era where inflation persistently lags the Fed's goal, Evans said in the text of a presentation he's giving Thursday in Mexico City. The risk of entrenched weak inflation is heightened by interest rates being much closer to zero, a situation unlikely to change anytime soon, he said.

    "Countering the ELB (effective lower bound) inflation bias may require more periods of above-target inflation than experienced in the past.

  • Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 09:12

    --Small Business Barometer Shows Biggest Retailer Gain In a Year

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian retailer confidence rose the most in more than a year in February, suggesting resilience in domestic spending as the Bank of Canada considers a rate cut to boost demand.

    The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said its retail index climbed 8.6 points to 61.0, the second-biggest gain among the 13 industries it tracks. The headline Barometer climbed 5.2 to 60.5, the highest since August according to a report Thursday.

  • Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 15:03

    By Brooke Migdon

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. lawmakers and industry leaders on Wednesday said the spread of coronavirus across China could affect its ability to meet purchase targets set in the Phase One trade agreement.

    "Purchase commitments and other promises made by China as part of the agreement may be hard-pressed to happen," House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) said during a committee hearing. "The potential economic consequences for an undiversified supply chain look like they can be severe."

    China agreed in December to purchase USD200 billion worth of U.S. goods over the next two years as part of the Phase One deal.

  • Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 11:22

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's finance department said the government supports the central bank's new plan to prepare groundwork for a digital currency, saying it will help the country respond if needed to changes in the marketplace.

    The Bank of Canada said Tuesday it is mapping out how to issue a digital currency in case the decline of cash or new private forms of money shake up the financial system. Deputy Governor Tim Lane said there are no plans to issue digital currency and any move needs broad public support and legislative changes.

    "The Government of Canada welcomes the work by the Bank of Canada on central bank digital currency," Marie-France Faucher, a spokeswoman with the department, said by email on Wednesday.

  • Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 12:15

    --Lane Says Digital Currency May Be Needed In Future

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The Bank of Canada is mapping out how it might issue a digital currency in case the decline of cash or new private forms of money shake up the financial system, Deputy Governor Tim Lane said Tuesday.

    There are no current plans to issue a digital currency and the government would have to alter legislation to permit such a change, Lane said.

    The speech and a 17-page discussion paper is the strongest signal yet about Canada may deal with the popularity of digital payments and challenges to sovereignty from private alternatives like Facebook's Libra and bitcoin.

  • Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 10:08

    By Brooke Migdon

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday said China has taken a number of steps in implementing its agriculture-related commitments under the U.S.-China Phase One trade deal that took effect this month.

    China has lifted the ban on U.S. poultry imports and begun to roll back restrictions on imported U.S. products like feed additives and seafood spices, they said in a statement. It has also updated lists of facilities approved for exporting animal protein, pet food and dairy, among other products. China announced tariff exclusions for imported U.S.

  • Monday, February 24, 2020 - 15:38

    --Resolution May Limit Canada GDP Hit to February

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said police needed to clear protesters from a railway blockade on Monday to protect the economy from further damage and because negotiations had broken down.

    Ontario police started moving to make arrests just after 8am EST and around 130pm workers were testing signals on the main rail line between Montreal and Toronto, according to scenes shown on local TV stations. Protesters ignored Trudeau's call Friday to end the dispute immediately and other warnings from police to leave.

    Shipments that manufacturers say are worth hundreds of millions of dollars a day have been suspended for more than two weeks.