Fed touts economic recovery, vows to keep interest rates low

first_imgIt was also the Fed’s last policy decision before the Nov. 3 US presidential election, delivering the winner a runway of low borrowing costs for years to come. All but one Fed policymaker saw rates staying at their near-zero level through 2022. Just four saw them higher than that in 2023.“Effectively what we are saying is that rates will remain highly accommodative until the economy is far along in its recovery,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a news conference following the release of the policy statement and new economic projections.The new promise to “moderately exceed” 2 percent inflation, he added, “should be a very powerful statement in supporting economic activity.”Recovery is here With about half of the US jobs lost since the crisis now recouped, and consumer spending about three-quarters recovered, the economy has come farther and faster than most at the Fed had thought just a few months ago.The new economic projections showed policymakers now see the economy shrinking 3.7 percent this year, far less than the 6.5 percent decline they forecast in June. They see unemployment, which registered 8.4 percent in August, dropping to 7.6 percent by the end of the year.The recovery “is here, and it’s well along,” Powell said.And even as the virus continues to cause “tremendous human and economic hardship,” he said, “we are learning to live with COVID, which still spreads,” Powell said. Social distancing and the use of masks allowed much of the economy to regain ground lost in the second quarter, he said. That contraction was the worst suffered by the United States in the post-World War Two era.But with parts of the economy, like the travel and entertainment sectors, likely to take longer to revive, millions will still struggle to find work.The recovery, Powell noted, is expected to slow, requiring continued support from further government spending and, he said, the Fed, which is continuing to debate further actions including a possibly faster pace of bond buying.Or, as the central bank’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee said in the dry language of its statement after the end of its two-day meeting, “The Committee would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if risks emerge that could impede the attainment of the Committee’s goals.”Bond purchasesThe Fed used its policy statement to begin to pivot from stabilizing financial markets to stimulating the economy, saying that it would keep its current government bond-buying at least at the current pace of US$120 billion per month, in part to ensure “accommodative” financial conditions in the future.The Fed’s pledge to remain accommodating for the foreseeable future initially lifted stocks, but a return of selling in the technology sector left Wall Street largely lower by day’s end. Yields on long-dated Treasury securities ticked higher, meanwhile, while the dollar ended the day little changed against major trading partner currencies.The new economic projections show that the Fed does not expect inflation to breach the 2 percent target any time soon.Powell said the Fed “is both confident and committed and determined” to modestly overshooting 2 percent inflation, but added that it would take time.In pledging to keep rates low until inflation was moving above the target, to make up for years spent below it, the Fed reflected its new tilt towards stronger job growth, announced late last month after a nearly two-year review.Both dissenters to the statement, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, took specific issue with the central bank’s guidance that it would keep interest rates where they are “until labor market conditions have reached levels consistent with … maximum employment and inflation has risen to 2 percent and is on track to moderately exceed 2 percent for some time.”Kaplan said he would have preferred to have “greater flexibility” once inflation and maximum employment were on track to reaching the Fed’s goals, an easier hurdle to reach. Kashkari’s dissent suggests he wanted a higher hurdle: for rates to stay where they are until core inflation – which often runs cooler than overall inflation – has reached 2 percent “on a sustained basis.”Topics : The Federal Reserve on Wednesday vowed to keep interest rates near zero until inflation is on track to overshoot the US central bank’s 2 percent target, a bold new promise aimed at bringing millions of out-of-work Americans back to the labor market.But the new guidance also marked the start of a vigorous monetary policy debate as the Fed shifts from a crisis-era focus on keeping markets afloat during the coronavirus pandemic to managing what it now sees as a steady, multi-year recovery.Underscoring the depth of disagreement, and the economic uncertainty that underlies it, the decision drew two dissents, one from a policymaker who thought it went too far, and the other from one who thought it didn’t go far enough.last_img read more

Abortion bill permits discrimination against conscientious objectors

first_imgNZ Doctor 9 October 2019Family First Comment: In written submissions, the NZMA and the RNZCGP express concern that, if passed unchanged, the bill will “undermine a doctor’s ability to exercise true freedom of conscience”…. “Legislating the ability for employers to discriminate on these grounds is a retrograde step. Furthermore, the phrase ‘unreasonably disrupt the employer’s activities’ could be open to wide interpretation…. “You wouldn’t expect an abortion facility to employ people who have a conscientious objection to abortion”.Of course not, but that’s how dangerous this bill is, and its architects!The NZMA wants abortion decriminalised, but says doctors who object to being involved should not be penalised“Legislating the ability for employers to discriminate on these grounds is a retrograde step”Planned changes to abortion law will allow employers to discriminate against medical practitioners who refuse to participate in abortions, says the NZMA.A parliamentary committee is hearing submissions on the Abortion Legislation Bill, aimed at decriminalising abortion and making it a health matter.In written submissions, the NZMA and the RNZCGP state their support for decriminalisation.But the association goes on to express its concern that, if passed unchanged, the bill will “undermine a doctor’s ability to exercise true freedom of conscience”.New obligation to refer At present doctors with a conscientious objection must inform a patient she can get an abortion from another health practitioner, but they do not have to provide a list of such people nor their contact details.The bill requires a conscientious objector to tell a woman how she can access contact details of an abortion provider. The Ministry of Health will have to maintain a list of providers.Section 20 of the bill says abortion, sterilisation and contraceptive service providers must accommodate conscientious objection of employees or job applicants, but goes on to permit discrimination against them if their objections “unreasonably disrupt the employer’s activities”.Types of permitted discrimination Permitted discrimination includes dismissal, not hiring the person in the first place, or providing worse terms of employment.The association’s submission says: “Legislating the ability for employers to discriminate on these grounds is a retrograde step.“Furthermore, the phrase ‘unreasonably disrupt the employer’s activities’ could be open to wide interpretation. While this is likely to be tested in court, we ask the committee to rescind these draft provisions that allow employers to discriminate on the grounds of personal conscience.”Association chair Kate Baddock told New Zealand Doctor the “pragmatic response” of MPs on the committee when this matter was raised at a hearing was “you wouldn’t expect an abortion facility to employ people who have a conscientious objection to abortion”.The NZMA has raised questions over the proposed ministry list of abortion doctors, saying the profession must be consulted.https://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/article/news/abortion-bill-permits-discrimination-against-conscientious-objectors (behind paywall)Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Condon: Trip to suit Aspect

first_img Press Association Condon said: “I’m very happy with her. She won a Listed race over an inadequate trip at Tipperary and she will be more comfortable over seven furlongs. “I think she has improved since, but she will need to if she is to be involved. She is in good form and I’m expecting her to run well. “I booked Johnny on Wednesday when I knew Shane Foley wouldn’t be available.” Foley will partner Glassatura for his boss Mick Halford, a filly who made a winning debut at the Curragh before finishing fourth in a Listed heat at Naas. Halford said: “She is in good form, she’s had a nice break since her last run. She has been working well and I’m hoping for a good run.” As is so often the case, the contest is dominated by Aidan O’Brien. The master of Ballydoyle has saddled eight previous Debutante winners and is this year represented by Tapestry (Joseph O’Brien), Minorette (Michael Hussey) and Perhaps (Seamie Heffernan). The field is completed by Paul Deegan’s Avenue Gabriel. The daughter of Haatef came right back to five furlongs to claim the Listed Tipperary Stakes a month ago, her second career win from four juvenile appearances. She will be partnered by Johnny Murtagh as she faces six opponents at Group Two level this weekend. center_img Ken Condon believes a step up to seven furlongs will bring out the best in Sacred Aspect in the Friarstown Stud Debutante Stakes at the Curragh.last_img read more

The Latest: Penguins owners donating money to health outlets

first_imgThe Latest: Penguins owners donating money to health outlets The joint $200,000 donation will be split equally between Highmark Health and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The Highmark Health donation is earmarked for creating a mobile COVID-19 testing unit that will focus on under-served populations in the Pittsburgh area.The donation to UPMC will benefit the UPMC Children’s Hospital Helpers Fund, which supports families and caregivers who are impacted by COVID-19.___North Carolina and North Carolina State will begin fall classes on Aug. 10 and forgo fall breaks in order to finish by Thanksgiving to get ahead of a potential second wave of COVID-19.UNC Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz introduced a Roadmap for Fall in a letter Thursday that includes “off ramps” options if conditions change. Class sizes will be reduced with time extended between classes, some of which may be conducted remotely. The rebates will vary based on the final position in the standings and the number of games aired live. United is in fifth place with nine games remaining.The Premier League hasn’t provided details of the broadcasting rebate.___The governing body of swimming has postponed the short course world championships for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.FINA says the championships scheduled for December in Abu Dhabi will now be staged Dec. 13-18, 2021, in the United Arab Emirates because of the “the uncertainty related with the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide.” Dresden says on its website that the latest positive result was found in a fifth wave of tests conducted on Wednesday. It adds that another “category one” close contact of its coaching staff has also tested positive for COVID-19.The player, staff member and staff member’s contact person must now go into quarantine at home for 14 days.Dresden’s entire team was ordered by local health authorities into 14 days of quarantine on May 9 after two players tested positive.The club says that all players who tested positive before were cleared in the fourth and fifth wave of tests and that they and the rest of the team will be able to resume training on Saturday.Dresden was scheduled to play at Hannover last Sunday but couldn’t participate because of the quarantine order. That game was rescheduled for June 3. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Pittsburgh Penguins owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle are each contributing $100,000 to assist local health outlets dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. May 21, 2020 Faculty and staff will return in a phased approach and should initially expect staggered and alternating work schedules. UNC will also emphasize adherence to public health guidelines, including physical distancing, wearing face coverings and increased hand washing. The school will observe Labor Day and University Day and complete the semester by Nov. 24.N.C. State Chancellor Randy Woodson announced that the school will begin classes nine days earlier than originally scheduled and forgo fall break to also finish by Thanksgiving. Students will not return to campus for the remainder of the year and winter commencement will be announced later.___East Carolina is eliminating its men’s and women’s tennis and swimming and diving programs to help reduce a $4.9 million budget deficit.The move affects 68 student-athletes and nine coaches and reduces ECU’s sponsored sports from 20 to 16, including nine for women. The NCAA requires Division I FBS schools to carry minimums of 16 sports, eight for women.center_img Dresden is scheduled to resume play on May 31 against Stuttgart.___Manchester United says it believes it will miss out on $24 million because the Premier League will have to make refunds to broadcasters even if the pandemic-disrupted season is completed.The league is in talks with its rights holders about rebates because of delays and changes to the broadcasting schedule. The season was suspended in March.Empty stadiums will also change the TV product. Associated Press “The coaches and student-athletes for these respective sports have all impacted our department and the Pirate Family in a positive manner,” athletic director Jon Gilbert said in a release. “This decision was not made lightly. The history and success of the swimming and diving programs and the tennis programs will continue to be celebrated at East Carolina.”ECU interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson stated that the athletic budget was not sustainable pre-COVID-19. The deficit began to grow significantly with the pandemic where the impact was immediate and would affect future revenue and expenses.ECU will honor scholarships for athletes who remain at the school. ___The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame has canceled its induction ceremony in August because of health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hall of Fame president John Hendrickson says the museum believes it’s “in the best interests of everyone involved and for the integrity of the event to postpone the ceremony for a year.”The Hall of Fame ceremony was scheduled for Friday, Aug. 7, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. This year’s class includes trainer Mark Casse, jockey Darrel McHargue, horses Wise Dan and Tom Bowling, and Pillars of the Turf Alice Headley Chandler, Keene Daingerfield, Jr., and George D. Widener, Jr. They will be inducted with the class of 2021.The 44th Annual Museum Ball scheduled for Aug. 14 also was canceled. It’s traditionally one of the highlights of the Saratoga summer social season.___German soccer club Dynamo Dresden has reported another case of coronavirus. The already quarantined second-division club has now had four players test positive. FINA president Julio C. Maglione says swimming organizers have worked closely with the United Arab Emirates’ authorities and “we believe this is the most suitable solution for all those taking part in this competition.”A general congress to elect the FINA Bureau for the years 2021-25 will be staged in Doha, Qatar, on June 5, 2021. The new members of the bureau will start their terms immediately after the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.The short course world championships are held in a 25-meter pool. The FINA world championships and the Olympics are staged in 50-meter pools.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more