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Fed Chairman gives views on the economy 18 July, 2007

Posted by David Anderson in federal.
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Below are excerpts from his  

Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress
Before the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives
July 18, 2007 10:10 a.m.

Overall, the U.S. economy appears likely to expand at a moderate pace over the second half of 2007, with growth then strengthening a bit in 2008 to a rate close to the economy’s underlying trend. Such an assessment was made around the time of the June meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) by the members of the Board of Governors and the presidents of the Reserve Banks, all of whom participate in deliberations on monetary policy. The central tendency of the growth forecasts, which are conditioned on the assumption of appropriate monetary policy, is for real GDP to expand roughly 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 percent this year and 2-1/2 to 2-3/4 percent in 2008. The forecasted performance for this year is about 1/4 percentage point below that projected in February, the difference being largely the result of weaker-than-expected residential construction activity this year. The unemployment rate is anticipated to edge up to between 4-1/2 and 4-3/4 percent over the balance of this year and about 4-3/4 percent in 2008, a trajectory about the same as the one expected in February.Real consumption expenditures appear to have slowed last quarter, following two quarters of rapid expansion. Consumption outlays are likely to continue growing at a moderate pace, aided by a strong labor market. Employment should continue to expand, though possibly at a somewhat slower pace than in recent years as a result of the recent moderation in the growth of output and ongoing demographic shifts that are expected to lead to a gradual decline in labor force participation. Real compensation appears to have risen over the past year, and barring further sharp increases in consumer energy costs, it should rise further as labor demand remains strong and productivity increases. In the business sector, investment in equipment and software showed a modest gain in the first quarter. A similar outcome is likely for the second quarter, as weakness in the volatile transportation equipment category appears to have been offset by solid gains in other categories. Investment in nonresidential structures, after slowing sharply late last year, seems to have grown fairly vigorously in the first half of 2007. Like consumption spending, business fixed investment overall seems poised to rise at a moderate pace, bolstered by gains in sales and generally favorable financial conditions. Late last year and early this year, motor vehicle manufacturers and firms in several other industries found themselves with elevated inventories, which led them to reduce production to better align inventories with sales. Excess inventories now appear to have been substantially eliminated and should not prove a further restraint on growth.The global economy continues to be strong. Supported by solid economic growth abroad, U.S. exports should expand further in coming quarters. Nonetheless, our trade deficit–which was about 5-1/4 percent of nominal gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter–is likely to remain high.

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1. Bush Economy sound. « First State Politics - 18 July, 2007

[…] Bernanke testified todaybefore a House committee to give his semi-annual report on the economy.  https://stoptaxing.wordpress.com/2007/07/18/fed-chairman-gives-views-on-the-economy/ will give you detailed […]


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