Home >> Author Archives: Mark Lieberman (page 2)

Author Archives: Mark Lieberman

Mark Lieberman is the former Senior Economist at Fox Business Network. He is now Managing Director and Senior Economist at Economics Analytics Research. He can be heard each Friday on The Morning Briefing on POTUS on Sirius-XM Radio 124.

FOMC Votes No Change in Policy, Foresees Slower Growth

Fed

While noting improvement in economic activity and labor market conditions, the Federal Open Market Committee voted Wednesday to continue its policy of near-zero interest rates and its $85-billion-per-month bond-buying program. At the same time, the Federal Reserve's own economic projections suggested the economy might not grow this year as fast as it expected just three months ago.

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Single-Family Permits, Starts Up in August

Led by the strongest gain for single-family construction this, year, the pace of housing starts edged up 0.9 percent in August, the Census Bureau and HUD reported Wednesday. Builders broke ground in August on new homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 891,000--up from a revised 883,000 in July--and filed for permits at the seasonally adjusted annual rate of 918,000, down from 954,000 in July. The gain in both single-family permits and starts came amid signs of improving builder confidence.

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Initial Jobless Claims At 7 1/2-Year Low

Unemployment

First-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending September 7 plunged 31,000 to 292,000, the lowest level since March 2006, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected the number of claims to edge up to 330,000 from the 323,000 originally reported for the week ending August 31. The number of filings for that week was unchanged.

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Commentary: Truth… and Consequences

Friday's report on the August employment situation at the same time confounded analysts twice with a less than robust 169,000 month-month increase in payrolls and a staggering 58,000 reduction in the initial report on payrolls for July. While it may not be easy to reconcile the numbers in the employment situation report with themselves, it is even more difficult to reconcile them with other economic indicators.

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Unemployment Rate Dips as August Payrolls Increase 169K

Unemployment

The nation's economy added 169,000 jobs in August as the unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent, the lowest level since December 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. Economists had forecast payrolls would grow by 180,000 and that the unemployment rate would remain at July's 7.4 percent.

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Beige Book Again Records Modest-to-Moderate Growth

Fed

Continuing to shrug off sequester cutbacks, but feeling the effects of adverse weather, the nation's economy "continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace" from early July though late August, the Federal Reserve reported in its Beige Book assessment. Residential real estate activity "increased moderately" and "demand for nonresidential real estate increased," though "lending activity weakened a bit." Lending standards have largely remained unchanged, while credit quality has improved.

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Slow Wage Growth Holds Back Incomes in July

Consumers kept their cash--and credit cards--in their wallets in July as personal spending rose just 0.1 percent, while income increased 0.2 percent, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported Friday. Economists had expected income to grow 0.2 percent but thought spending would increase 0.3 percent.

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