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Weekly economic review & outlook
Stable growth and a steady Fed

FEB. 03, 2020

You Need to Know

Week in review

Positive, but modest, growth to end 2019

Real GDP rose by an annualized 2.1 percent pace in the fourth quarter, little changed from the second and third quarters.

Fed keeps rates unchanged again

Citing a stable growth and inflation environment, the FOMC made no change to the target federal funds rate and signaled a steady outlook ahead.

Week Ahead

Forecasts

Factory orders up after a spike in defense orders

Factory orders are expected to be up in January, but the details suggest this will be largely due to defense spending.

Employment growth set to return to trend after a weaker December

Nonfarm payroll growth should rebound close to the 2019 median after a significant easing in December. Average hourly earnings should also see improved growth following a sluggish close to last year.

Real GDP rose by an annualized 2.1 percent pace in the fourth quarter, little changed from the second and third quarters. With economic growth stable and positive, the unemployment rate at 50-year lows, and inflation still weak, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) kept the federal funds target range unchanged at 1.50-1.75 percent following its January meeting.

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