Latest News From The States

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting ended with the Federal Reserve announcing that until the unemployment rate falls below 6.5 percent interest rates would hover close to zero. Moreover, in the hopes of stimulating the economy, through increasing consumer spending and improving the labor market’s outlook, the Fed “committed to purchase $45 billion in longer-term Treasuries each month on top of the $40 billion per month in mortgage-backed bonds the U.S. central bank started buying in September.” (1) For the first time in six months, the U.S. consumer prices fell. The Labor Department reported Friday that the CPI decreased by 0.3 percent for the month of November. (2) However, economists, who were surveyed by Bloomberg, projected only a slightly better forecast of a 0.2 percent drop. (3) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that “the Producer Price Index for finished goods fell [another] 0.8 percent in November,” on top of the 0.2 percent drop from October. (4) After falling 0.2 percent in October, the core PPI increase by a mere 0.1 percent versus an economist forecast of a 0.2 rise. (5) The 112th Congressional meeting was scheduled to end today; however, due to an inability to reach a compromise regarding the budget it has been extended indefinitely. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have been incapable of finding an alternative solution to overcome federal deficits and national debt so the fiscal cliff still looms in the nation’s foreground. (6)