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first_imgWASHINGTON – Most parts of the country saw modest economic growth in the past month, although there were pockets of sluggishness as businesses continued to cope with fallout from the troubled housing and automotive industries. Information in the new snapshot, released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve, was collected before last week’s gut-wrenching nosedive in worldwide financial markets, which in part reflected investors’ worries about the health of the U.S. and Chinese economies. Nonetheless, the survey is consistent with Fed chairman Ben Bernanke’s view – repeated anew after the market meltdown – that the central bank continues to foresee “moderate growth going forward.” Information from the survey will figure into discussions at the central bank’s next meeting on March 20-21. Many economists expect the Fed will continue to hold interest rates steady, which it has done since August. Before that, the Fed had steadily boosted rates for two years to fend off inflation. For instance, the New York region said that although growth is “well maintained” there were a “few signs of deceleration.” The St. Louis district said activity “increased more slowly.” The Boston district reported some “softening” in economic activity and the Dallas region said business activity “continued to decelerate,” the Fed said. A separate survey by the Business Roundtable found that corporate leaders are mostly positive about business conditions – including sales, capital investment and hiring – in the coming months. The recent stock market swoon hasn’t changed that view, said the group’s chairman, Harold McGraw III, chief of The McGraw-Hill Cos. “The CEOs feel quite comfortable that we have a solid economy for the next six months in terms of which to operate,” he said. The Fed survey found that overall manufacturing activity held steady or expanded even as some factories cut back on production due to problems in the auto and home-building sectors. “Most districts reported that manufacturing activity related to residential real estate remained sluggish, especially for production of household appliances, furniture and building materials,” the Fed report said. The majority of Fed regions reported steady growth in retail sales, but auto sales remained lackluster. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Fed’s goal is to slow the economy sufficiently to curb inflation, but not so much as to cripple economic growth. T.J. Marta, fixed income strategist at RBC Capital Markets, said the survey suggests “the Fed is generally getting the moderation it wants” in terms of economic growth, reason enough to leave rates alone. The survey suggested that the price climate during the last month has been fairly steady, with most of the Fed’s 12 regional districts characterizing “price pressures as little changed.” And, even with the job market staying healthy in most parts of the country, workers’ pay increases “generally remained moderate.” Both observations in the Fed survey offered hopeful signs that inflation isn’t flaring up. The survey is based on information supplied by the Fed’s 12 regional banks and collected on or before Feb. 26. On the economic growth front, the survey said that “most Federal Reserve districts reported modest expansion in economic activity” over the past month but “several districts noted some slowing.” last_img read more

first_img0Shares0000Patrice Evra has ended his playing career to follow his old Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson into management © AFP/File / Andrew YATESROME, Italy, Jul 29 – Former France and Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has called time on his playing career, according to the Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport.“My career as a player is officially over,” the 38-year-old told the paper. Evra made his name with Nice and Monaco before Alex Ferguson signed him for Manchester United in 2006. He would go on to make almost 300 appearances for the club, winning five Premier League titles and the Champions Leage.He moved to Juventus in 2014, winning two Serie A titles, before spells at Marseille and West Ham.He also played 81 times for France and captained them at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa which became famous for the French team strike at Knysna as they were eliminated in the group stages.Evra said that he was now turning his attention fully to coaching.“I started the course for the UEFA B licence as a coach in 2013,” he said. “Now, I want to finish that so that I can take the A licence. In other words, in a year and a half I will be qualified to manage a team.”Evra was quick to praise the influence of his former Manchester United boss.“He predicted that two of his players would become top level coaches: Ryan Giggs and Pat Evra,” he said naming himself in the third person.“I think of Sir Alex as a father. He accepted me just as I am, sometimes a leader, sometimes arrogant.”0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more