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That 1937 Feeling All Over Again

Sunday, August 7, 2011 - 2:46 PM

His options are limited.

Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight, said the Fed could promise to keep interest rates near zero or its balance sheet swollen for even longer than investors anticipate. Or it could buy even more U.S. government debt.

"It is hard to see any of these options as 'game changers,'" Gault said. "The Fed would be doing them not because it could be sure they would make a huge difference, but because it would feel the need to do something."

Gault put the odds of another recession at 40 percent.

However, Friday's U.S. employment figures soothed recession fears, showing the economy created 117,000 jobs in July. That was up from a revised 46,000 in June and prior months payrolls were revised up slightly. The unemployment rate slipped to 9.1 percent but mostly because workers dropped out of the labor force.

"While I do not think this sounds the all-clear signal, it does quell some of the conversation that the U.S. is falling back into a recession," said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York.

"Having said that, there are still plenty of headwinds, like Europe. I am also very encouraged to see the upward revisions to the previous months. This report pulls us back from the ledge a little bit."

MikeMike327 posts since
Feb 22, 2010
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