Economic Report -5/11/15
There were many economic reports released the last few weeks. These reports are crucial to analyze as they can impact the Federal Reserve Board’s decision to raise interest rates. First quarter earnings and forecasts for the following quarter were made by corporate companies. Additionally, personal income and spending numbers and the preliminary estimate of economic growth for the first quarter was released. Economic growth data came out much weaker than analysts expected. The Federal Reserve Board’s Open Market Committee also met and announced that there is no specific timetable for raising interest rates this year.
The release of jobs data for April was also released this month. After a disappointing job data report in March, The Federal Reserve Board was likely closely monitoring April’s report. There was an increase of 223,000 jobs in April. This was better than the increase of 126,000 jobs in March but less than the average of 300,000 jobs that were added in the 4th Quarter months of 2014. Although, jobs went up a bit in April, and the economy is doing better, we will likely need to see a more consistent increases in jobs before the Federal Reserve increases interest rates. Other notable economic data this month includes an increase in the labor force participation rate and a decrease in the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate decreased to 5.4%. This is the lowest it’s been since May of 2008.