Financial News December 2006
On December 12, 2006 the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady by keeping the Federal Funds Rate at 5.25% for a fourth straight meeting, a move widely anticipated by industry experts. This comes on the coat tails of the Fed calling the recent cooling in the housing market “substantial.”
Even so, retail sales jumped 1% in November, their largest rise since July 2006, the Commerce Department reported December 14. Excluding autos and gasoline, which gives a more reliable core measure of household spending, retail sales increased 0.9%. Analysts had forecast a 0.2% rise in retail sales in November. November’s sharp rise supports the Fed’s view that there is little evidence that a cooling housing market will have a negative effect on the wider economy.