BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 23 October, 2002, 20:04 GMT 21:04 UK
US battles economic malaise
US economy graphic
The US is still battling against what the Federal Reserve has called a "sluggish" economy, following the latest survey of regional activity.

The Fed suggested that retail and manufacturing continued to struggle in a number of key areas in September and early October, while the job market remained stagnant.

The latest findings have prompted suggestions that the Fed will now cut interest rates again at its November meeting, in an effort to counter falling consumer confidence.

US interest rates have been at a 40-year low all this year, following the 11th cut last December.

Grey mood

The Fed's so-called 'Beige Book' survey, referring to the colour of its cover, collates findings from 12 regional banks.

So far this year, it has reported a mixed economy, with spurts of activity countered by slow growth elsewhere.

The latest survey for the last two months found that retail sales had slowed in some areas, while manufacturing continued to be "tough" and "stagnant".

The Fed described the job market at "lacklustre, with only a few reports of increased hiring".

Rate cut?

Some analysts have suggested that the ongoing weakness in the US economy, coupled with the threat of an attack on Iraq, could prompt a further cut in interest rates.

Fed policy-makers are due to meet on 6 November, and could use another rate cut to try and maintain consumer spending levels.

But other analysts say the US will maintain its 1.75% interest rates until the possible conflict with Iraq unfolds and the economy needs a renewed boost.


Economic indicators

Fears and hopes

US Fed decisons

IN DEPTH
See also:

03 Sep 02 | Business
20 Aug 02 | Business
13 Aug 02 | Business
19 Aug 02 | Business
19 Jul 02 | Business
18 Jul 02 | Business
28 Jun 02 | Business
28 Jun 02 | Business
27 Jun 02 | Business
28 May 02 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes