U.S. Economic News

April 22, 2019

U.S. Economic Indicators

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index rose from -0.31 (revised) in February to -0.15 in March. The employment, production, and sales, orders, and inventories categories contributed positively, while the personal consumption and housing category contributed negatively. Chicago Fed Report

Existing home sales fell 4.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.21 million in March, and are down 5.4% compared to a year ago. NAR notes that sales activity is underperforming relative to the strong labor market, and the impact of lower mortgage rates has yet to be fully realized. NAR Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that recent public remarks by Federal Reserve officials suggest that while a rate cut is not likely in the near term, officials are starting to discuss changing the threshold for cutting rates. Some Fed officials are open to lowering interest rates if core inflation continues to drift below the Fed’s 2.0% target, while those opposed to cutting rates are becoming increasingly hesitant to raise them. WSJ

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