Recent Economic Developments 2009 02 03

Feb 03 2009

The unemployment rate rose significantly in December to 7.2%, up from 6.8% a month earlier and 4.9% a year earlier, and the highest since January of 1993. Payroll employment declined by 524,000 in December and has fallen by almost 2.6 million over the past 12 months. Output, measured by the inflation-adjusted (real) gross domestic product (GDP), fell at a 3.8% annualized rate in the 4th quarter, dragged down by a significant 19.7% annualized decline in exports—the first decline since 2003—and a significant 3.5% decline in consumer spending. Reflecting ongoing adjustments in housing markets, residential investment has fallen for 12 straight quarters, home prices and building activities continue to decline, and mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures continue to climb. In light of weakness in housing, economic activity, and labor markets, the Federal Reserve decided last month to keep its target overnight interest rate in a “target range” of 0% to ¼% and identified “credit easing” plans to continue expansion of the asset side of its balance sheet.

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  • Recent Economic Developments 2009 02 03

    The unemployment rate rose significantly in December to 7.2%, up from 6.8% a month earlier and 4.9% a year earlier, and the highest since January of 1993. Payroll employment declined by 524,000 in December and has fallen by almost 2.6 million over the past 12 months. Output, measured by the inflation-adjusted (real) gross domestic product (GDP), fell at a 3.8% annualized rate in the 4th quarter, dragged down by a significant 19.7% annualized decline in exports—the first decline since 2003—and a significant 3.5% decline in consumer spending. Reflecting ongoing adjustments in housing markets, residential investment has fallen for 12 straight quarters, home prices and building activities continue to decline, and mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures continue to climb. In light of weakness in housing, economic activity, and labor markets, the Federal Reserve decided last month to keep its target overnight interest rate in a “target range” of 0% to ¼% and identified “credit easing” plans to continue expansion of the asset side of its balance sheet.RecentEconomicDevelopmentsFebruary32009.pdf (336.2 KBs)