North America

  • 2019-10-17 16:20

    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Federal Reserve may adjust as needed its recently announced plan to purchase $60 billion of Treasury bills a month for the next six months, New York Fed President John Williams said Thursday.

    The bill purchases do not represent any change in the stance of monetary policy and "the goal is to make sure that the federal funds rate stays within the target range set by the FOMC," he said.

    "We will continue to learn about demand for reserves and other Federal Reserve liabilities and market functioning, and may adjust the specifics of the plan as appropriate," he said in remarks prepared for a financial market conference in New York.

  • 2019-10-17 08:30

    By Greg Quinn and Anahita Alinejad

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian factory sales climbed for the first time in three months as motor vehicle assembly plants resumed work after summer shutdowns, while a measure of inventories held close to the highest since the last recession a decade ago.

    Sales rose 0.8% from July, in line with the MNI median for a 0.7% increase. Sales had declined 1.3% in July and 1.5% in June, months marked by shutdowns at auto plants, metalworks and energy facilities.

    Motor vehicle sales climbed 2.6% in August following declines of 4.6% in July and 0.3% in June, Statistics Canada said Thursday from Ottawa.

  • 2019-10-16 11:07

    By Evan Ryser

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans on Wednesday said interest rate policy is currently "in a good place" and that July and September rate cuts were appropriate given risks to the outlook.

    "I see that the economy today is generally in good shape and that policy is close to the right place, but there are risks that require our diligent attention," Evans said in prepared remarks given at the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council in Illinois.

    "I think policy is probably in a good place right now."

    "All told, the growth outlook is good, and we have policy accommodation in place to support rising inflation.

  • 2019-10-15 15:18

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Retail sales are expected to rise at a slightly slower rate in September with consumer spending still driving the U.S. economy through a global slowdown. Here are some highlights to look out for:

    -Sales are expected to rise 0.3% in September according to the Bloomberg median, following a 0.4% increase in August. New and used vehicle prices dropped in September, likely keeping September auto sales high. However, falling gasoline prices should drive down gas station spending, which could hold down the headline number.

    - Expected monthly rise would be the seventh in a row.

  • 2019-10-15 09:00

    --IMF Urges Undoing Trade Barriers, Fiscal Support

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The International Monetary Fund downgraded its 2019 global growth forecast to 3%, the slowest since the global financial crisis, in the face of what it described as a "synchronized slowdown" prompted by rising trade barriers and uncertainty, as well as low productivity growth in the rich world.

    In its October World Economic Outlook, the IMF also cut its growth forecast for 2020 by 0.2 percentage point to 3.4%, noting that next year's improved performance would not be "broad based and is precarious," with advanced economy growth stuck at 1.7%.

  • 2019-10-11 12:04

    By Evan Ryser

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. Treasury Department said on Friday it will seek comments from primary dealers about a potential 20-year bond.

    "As part of the quarterly refunding process, Treasury is asking primary dealers for their views on the likely demand, pricing, liquidity, and ideal structure/auction schedule of a potential 20-year bond," a Treasury official said.

    The Treasury Department is scheduled to make its next quarterly announcement on debt Oct. 30.

    --MNI Washington Bureau; +1 202 371 2121; email:

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  • 2019-10-10 14:07

    Unemployment near record low shows economy near capacity, allowing BOC to hold line on rates

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's labor market probably slowed in September, with employers adding just enough workers to keep the jobless rate close to a record low.

    Job gains probably eased to 5,000 last month, according to the MNI economist median, following a gain of 81,100 in August that was far ahead of forecasts.

    The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 5.7% for a third month in September according to the MNI economist median. The rate hit a record low of 5.4% in May.

  • 2019-10-10 13:57

    Partial China Deal Could Include October Tariff Delay

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The United States Chamber of Commerce said the U.S. and China are making progress in trade talks and could be working toward an "early harvest" deal on intellectual property, market access, and agricultural purchases, with the possibility of a currency deal this week.

    "There is even the possibility of a currency agreement this week.

  • 2019-10-09 14:08

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is an excerpt of the Federal Open Market Committee minutes describing committee's policy action, published Wednesday for the September meeting:

    Participants generally agreed with the staff's analysis that the risk of future ELB episodes had likely in-creased over time, and that future ELB episodes and the reduced effect of resource utilization on inflation could inhibit the Committee's ability to achieve its employment and inflation objectives. The increased ELB risk was attributed in part to structural changes in the U.S. economy that had lowered the longer-run real short-term interest rate and thus the neutral level of the policy rate.

  • 2019-10-09 14:07

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is an excerpt of the Federal Open Market Committee minutes describing committee's policy action, published Wednesday for the September meeting:

    Although ensuring inflation outcomes averaging 2 percent over time was seen as important, many par-ticipants noted that the illustrated makeup strategies delivered only modest benefits in the staff's model simulations. These modest benefits in part reflected that the responsiveness of inflation to resource slack had diminished, making it more difficult to provide sufficient accommodation to push inflation back to the Committee's objective in a timely manner.