Friday/ those interest rates

Friday’s good US jobs report for November, makes a Federal Funds Rate increase in mid-December ‘all but a done deal’, say most economists. (The rate has been at zero for more than 6 years).  US interest rates are going in the opposite direction of those in Europe, though.  Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, dissatisfied with the performance of the eurozone economy, recently cut Central Bank interest rates from an already negative 0.2% to -0.3%.  What does that even mean?   Well, Europeans now pay the bank interest to hold their euros.  So .. better to keep it in the freezer?  Under the mattress?  It can still get stolen from there, so I guess if I were them, I’d still go with putting my cash in the bank. Grrr.

Here are some financial graphs from the New York Times.

12-5-2015 11-55-49 AM
The official unemployment rate looks good, but the labor market (wage increases, work force participation, work week hours) is at best neutral.
12-5-2015 11-56-05 AM
2% growth is sluggish, but better than nothing at all.

 

 

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