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Next Week’s News Today: Why The Fed Held Rates

It is a holiday-shortened week with Hari Raya Haji on Thursday. That also happens to be the day when America is expected to report unemployment numbers. The Continuing Jobless Claims has been falling steadily in the US, which raises more questions than answers as to why the Federal Reserve has dithered on interest rates.

Perhaps Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen, could provide some insight when she stands up at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on 24 September to deliver her speech on “Inflation Dynamics and Monetary Policy.”

Sticking with America, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis will provide the final GDP numbers for the second quarter. We should also get the final numbers for consumer spending and corporate profits for the second quarter too.

On the other side of the globe, China will spill the beans on the state of its manufacturing sector. In the last six months, factory activity has been shrinking month on month. That shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, given that China is repositioning its economy away from exports.

Meanwhile in Japan, factory activity has expanded over the last four month, helped by a more exchange rate. Elsewhere in Japan, low inflation is raising questions as to whether Quantitative Easing is having the desired effect on the economy. While there are inklings of inflation, the latest CPI rate of 0.2% is much lower than the government’s target of 2%.

And finally, Singapore will report inflation numbers on Wednesday. Prices in the Garden City have fallen for nine straight months. Could it be ten in ten?

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