Thursday, 23 June 2011

No hint of QE3 from Bernanke

Reuters reports the outcome of the latest Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting:

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday cut its forecasts for U.S. economic growth, but offered no hint of further monetary support, saying the recovery should gradually pick up heading into 2012.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said factors weighing on the economy, such as high commodity prices, should be fleeting but warned some of the weakness could linger...

The Fed confirmed it was ending its $600 billion bond-buying program at the end of June and reiterated it will continue to reinvest principal payments from its holdings...

While Bernanke did not rule anything out, he made clear the Fed does not feel the economy is in as dire a condition as it was last fall when it launched its latest bond-buying plan.

Among US economic data released on Wednesday, commercial real estate prices continued to decline in April. Again from Bloomberg:

U.S. commercial property prices fell in April as sales of distressed assets made up a large share of transactions, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

The Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price Index dropped 3.7 percent from March and 13 percent from a year earlier. It’s now 49 percent below the peak of October 2007 and at its lowest point in data going back to December 2000, the company said in a report today.

However, home prices showed a surprise rebound in April, according to a Bloomberg report.

U.S. home prices fell 5.7 percent in April from a year earlier, signaling the housing market is struggling to recover as foreclosures weigh down values.

The decline was led by an 11 percent drop in the region that includes Nevada and Arizona, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said today in a report from Washington. The second- largest slump was 8.6 percent in the area that includes Florida...

Prices rose 0.8 percent from March, the FHFA said. Economists had projected a 0.3 percent decline from the previous month, according to the average of 18 estimates in a Bloomberg survey...

Also showing a rebound in April was eurozone industrial orders. Bloomberg reports:

European industrial orders rose in April, as increasing demand in Germany helped counter a slump in France and Italy, suggesting the euro region’s economic expansion maintained some momentum into the second quarter.

Orders in the euro area advanced 0.7 percent from March, when they fell 1.5 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Economists had forecast a gain of 1 percent, the median of 18 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey showed. Orders jumped 8.6 percent from a year earlier.

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