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3/23/2015

US Review

    ·  This week’s FOMC meeting statement dropped the word “patient” but the tone remained very dovish. The Fed lowered the 2015 economic projection and Fed Fund Rate estimate. Recent economic news has not been favorable for an significant rate hike this year.

    ·  Industrial production remained soft, edged up 0.1 percent after declining 0.3 percent in January, where automobile production continued to decline.

    ·  Retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.6 percent in February, with the biggest monthly declines occurring at auto retailers and building material stores.

    ·  Nonfarm payrolls added 295,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent. Gains were broad-based, but average hourly earnings barely grew. Labor participation rate remained low at 62.8%.

 

Global Review

    ·  Last week, ECB started their first round of QE program, purchasing nearly 10 billion Euro of bonds. With weak data in Eurozone, ECB hoped to boost economy by copying Japan and U.S. However, based on previous instances, easing program is unlikely to help Eurozone economy in an efficient way.

    ·  After several rounds of back and forth, Greece made concession to provide a more detailed list of reform plan.