Several January Indices Push Economic Recovery Through the SpringFeb 18 2010
This Week's Top Economic Reports to be Looking At:
Industrial Production RIses 0.3% from December
Now up for seven straight months, January's industrial production index rose 0.9%. Over the past year, the IP has raised a total of 0.9%. In addition to the 0.3% gain from December, last month's increase included a surge in factory workers. Manufacturing production was up 1.0% and the indices for both mining and utilities were up 0.7%.
Housing Starts Achieve Strongest Level Since Last Summer
Climbing up 2.8% to a seasonally adjusted 591,000, January's housing starts rose to its highest level in the past six months. New building permits have dropped though, a furthering sign that the housing sector is recovering into spring. This is the strongest housing starts report that has been seen since July 2009.
FOMC Meeting Minutes Reveal a Weighty Debate Over Selling Assets
The Federal Reserve's meeting minutes released this week showed a heavy debate over the bloated Fed balance sheet. Several members would like to see some liquidity being removed from the market, but as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke stated in his testimony last week, the Fed is still months away from raising rates and draining stimulus money. Bernanke then further commented that he fears that if the Fed removes their support programs too quickly, growth may begin to retract. For the Fed, time has become a great debacle between members.