Economic Update – Fed Chairmen Openly Tout Further Rate Hikes, ECB Monetary Policy in Question, More…

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Market Watch: Fed’s Rosengren wants a rate hike at every other meeting this year

  • The Federal Reserve should set out a default setting of a rate hike at every other meeting for the rest of the year, said Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren on Wednesday.
  • At the moment, the perception seems to be that the outcome of each Fed policy meeting depends on the economic data, with the base case being no change in rates, Rosengren said in a speech to the Boston Economic Club.
  • “I would like to suggest a somewhat different stance for policy over this year: an expectation to tighten at every other meeting unless incoming data are materially inconsistent with the forecast,” Rosengren said.

CNBC: Fed’s Evans says he supports one or two more rate hikes this year

  • One of the Federal Reserve’s most consistent supporters of low interest rates on Wednesday said he is with the majority of his colleagues in supporting further rate hikes this year, given progress on the U.S. central bank’s goals of full employment and stable inflation.
  • A drop in the U.S. jobless rate to 4.7 percent, near what many economists see as full employment, and an improved outlook for inflation help explain “why my current dual mandate outlook allows me to support another one or two increases this year,” Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said in remarks prepared for delivery at the DZ Bank-OMFIF International Capital Markets Conference in Frankfurt.

CNBC: ECB should now be prepared to tighten policy, says board member

  • The European Central Bank (ECB) should be ready to change its monetary policy as inflation data start to meet targets, a member of the bank’s executive board told CNBC on Monday.
  • Sabine Lautenschläger, member of the ECB’s executive board, said the current loose monetary stance is necessary given current economic data, but added that she’s hopeful that the numbers will improve by the next scheduled meeting in June.
  • “We should prepare for a change in the policy and as soon as the data is stable and we have a sustainable path towards our objective of price stability then we are well prepared to do (it),” Lautenschläger told CNBC.

Market Watch: Jobless claims dip 3,000 to 258,000 in late March

  • The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits in late March dropped by 3,000 to 258,000, keeping new claims near the lowest level in decades.
  • Economists polled by MarketWatch has expected initial jobless claims to total 247,000 in the seven days stretching from March 19 to March 25.
  • New jobless claims have been under the key 300,000 threshold for 108 straight weeks, the second longest stretch since the early 1970s.
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