Key Monthly Economic News
- Employment: In June, job growth expanded while wages showed little upward movement. There were 222,000 new jobs added in June following May's weak 152,000 total. Employment growth has averaged 180,000 per month through June, in line with the average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016.
- Interest rates: Following its meeting in July, the Federal Open Market Committee held the target range for the federal funds rate at 1.00%-1.25%. As it was following the Committee's meeting in June, inflation has failed to progress as anticipated. Otherwise, employment is solid and both household spending and business investment are up. The Committee gave no clear indication as to what it may do when it next meets in September.
- GDP: The gross domestic product expanded over the second quarter at an annual rate of 2.6%, according to the advance estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The first-quarter GDP grew at an annualized rate of 1.2%.
- Inflation: For the past few months, the major indicators are showing that inflation data is weak. Consumer spending, as measured by personal consumption expenditures (PCE), expanded at a rate of 0.1% in June.
- International markets: Greece is slowly showing signs of economic progress. Demand has been solid for the country's first bond issuance in three years, although not significant enough to preclude the need for more debt relief. The euro continued to climb following the European Central Bank's decision to maintain its current interest rate policy.