Economic Update – Fed Inflation Indicator Rises, Euro Zone Inflation Slows, 3 Fed Chairmen Speak, more…

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Zero Hedge: Fed’s Preferred Inflation Gauge Hits Target For First Time In 5 Years

  • For the first time since April 2012, The Fed’s preferred inflation indicator – the so-called Personal Consumption Expenditure Deflator – has topped 2% (The Fed’s mandated goal)…

RTE: Euro zone inflation slows more than expected in March

  • Euro zone annual inflation slowed in March by far more than the market had expected, driven down mostly by a deceleration of energy price rises, estimates from the European Union statistics office showed today.
  • Inflation in the 19 countries sharing the euro was 1.5% year-on-year, Eurostat estimated, down from a four-year high of 2% recorded in February.
  • Economists polled by Reuters had forecast March annualised inflation at 1.8%.

Market Watch: Fed’s Dudley says two more interest-rate hikes this year ‘seems reasonable’

  • The Federal Reserve’s forecast of two more interest rate hikes this year seems reasonable, said New York Fed President William Dudley on Friday.
  • Dudley said predicting the future path of interest rates “isn’t very relevant.” He noted the Fed initially thought it would hike rates four times in 2016 but managed only one.
  • “A couple more hikes this year seems reasonable. If the economy is a little bit stronger than we expect, we could do a little more, and if it’s weaker than we expect, we could do a little less,” Dudley said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

Market Watch: Fed’s Kaplan sees risk Washington could derail the expansion

  • One of the biggest risks facing the economy? Washington, said Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan on Thursday.
  • “We’re finally in a situation where the consumer capacity to spend is in pretty good shape,” said Kaplan, who is voting on the Federal Open Market Committee this year for the first time.
  • “I’m frankly more worried about and watching to make sure we don’t enact policies or some uncertainty that might cause consumers to take a little pause,” he said.
  • Earlier this month, the Fed raised rates to a range of 0.75% to 1%. Kaplan said he felt strongly the Fed should move in March so as not to get behind the curve.
  • “When you have windows where you can remove accommodation if you’re making progress, you should take advantage of those windows,” he said.

Market Watch: Fed’s Bullard says economy ‘not screaming’ for more rate hikes

  • The base case of Federal Reserve officials for gradual but steady rate hikes over the next few years is misguided, said St. Louis Fed President James Bullard on Friday.
  • “It’s okay to raise rates a little bit but I don’t think we need a major adjustment at this juncture in order to stay on track and keep inflation near target,” Bullard said in an interview on Bloomberg Television.
  • “This is not an environment where the data is screaming at the Fed that you have to move,” Bullard said.

Irish Times: German retail sales jump more than expected

  • German retail sales rose more than expected on the month in February but unexpectedly dropped on the year, data showed on Friday, sending mixed signals about the health of this sector of Europe’s largest economy.
  • On the year, shops sold 2.1 per cent less in February, confounding forecasts for a 0.3 per cent increase in sales.

Reuters: French consumer spending drops unexpectedly in February

  • French consumer spending fell unexpectedly by 0.8 percent in February from January due to a sharp drop in energy prices after exceptionally warmer weather, data released on Friday by the INSEE statistics agency showed…
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