Federal Reserve

 

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the reasons that the Federal Reserve continues to hold interest rates and what tools they have at their disposal to normalize the economy.

 

After last week’s announcement that the Federal Reserve would once again hold interest rates, many were left wondering why, particularly when low interest rates hurt those trying to save.

 

 

    

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper talks about a recent CNBC poll that finds many in the economic field are unsure of the Federal Reserve’s plans. He also discussed how the unexpected fall of existing homes sales creates uncertainty in the marketplace.

 

 

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper talks about how unexpectedly strong housing numbers are bolstering the third-quarter GDP outlook for the U.S.

 

Housing starts rose 2.1 percent in July, far exceeding expectations. However, Harper said the bump didn’t affect all areas of the country.

 

“The Northeast dropped off very substantially,” Harper said. “But, we saw increases in the South and West.”

 

 

  In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the Federal Reserve’s decision to once again hold interest rates.

The Federal Reserve met this week and, based on their projections, decided once again not to raise interest rates.

“It’s now five meetings ago (December 2015) since the Federal Open Market Committee raised the key overnight lending rate by 25 basis points – that is a quarter of a percent. And so, now we have short-term rates hovering in that region,” Harper said.

 

  In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the effect the Brexit referendum had on the Federal Reserve’s decision not to raise interest rates, an expected rise in employment and foreign home buying growing in the U.S., with Florida leading the way.

 

Minutes from the June Federal Reserve meeting released this week suggest that concerns about Brexit played a part in the Fed’s decision not to raise interest rates, but there were also other issues at play.

 

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  Stock markets are plunging amid Britain's vote to leave the European Union. The shock waves in the U.S. are being felt on both Wall Street and Main Street.

Brexit won approval by a 52-48% margin on Thursday. “Unexpected” is how UWF economist Rick Harper put it, during his weekly economic report.

“The polling was dead wrong,” said Harper. “As late as Thursday there had been as much as an 85% probability placed by markets, on the likelihood of [the UK] remaining in the European Union.”

 

The Federal Reserve met this week and decided once again not to raise interest rates, but the effect of that decision to do nothing is still making waves in the larger economy.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper talks about the first quarter Gross Domestic Product report, the Federal Reserve’s decision to hold interest rates, and growth in both Navarre Beach and downtown Pensacola.

 

The GDP report was released this week and reports that the U.S. economy’s annual growth slowed to just 0.5 percent in the first three months of 2016.

 

“It’s disappointing,” Harper said. “Half a percent is not in the range we’d like to see.”

 

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In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses a recent column by Haas Center Director Zach Jenkins, which looks at affordable housing for low-income families and what factors are affecting the rise in the cost of renting versus buying.

 

Harper said the issue is something the Haas Center has been following for quite some time and that Jenkins’ piece focuses on families who rent – and the findings are discouraging.

 

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In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper talks about the recession fears in the U.S., the volatility of world markets and a rise in the housing market.

The Federal Reserve’s acknowledgement of an economic downturn in financial markets at the end of 2015, despite a recovering jobs market is a concern for many, but there’s no reason to worry yet, according to Harper.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the decision by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.

Harper called the increase in the interest rate of a quarter of a percentage point “good news,” noting the Fed tracked the economy carefully and is responsible for maintaining both full employment and a low and stable price level nationally.

  In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses what the slight rise in unemployment claims means for the economy and the possible changes to the state’s short sell mortgage laws.

 

The Dec. 5 unemployment claims are in, and the state’s initial claims have risen to their highest point in five months – up 13,000 to 282,000. But Harper says that’s no cause for alarm. Depending upon when the month ends, where Thanksgiving falls and where Christmas spending begins, the reports can be volatile from week to week.

 

 

  In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses what the increase in Thanksgiving weekend retail spending means for Florida, the possibility of increased short-term interest rates, and Gov. Rick Scott’s proposal to create an economic development war chest.

 

Holiday shopping has begun. Coming out of what is traditionally the biggest retail weekend of the year, spending saw an increase over last year, but a modest one, Harper said.

 

 

   In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses federal interest rates, gas prices and a recent Triumph Gulf Coast Inc. board of directors meeting in Miramar Beach.

As predicted, members of the Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve decided to keep interest rates the same.

 

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the latest retail sales report, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony this before Congress, and plans for a new University of West Florida Center for Entrepreneurship.

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