News / USA

US Central Bank Decides Against New Economic Stimulus

People use computers to look for work at WorkForce One in Hollywood, Florida, August 1, 2012.People use computers to look for work at WorkForce One in Hollywood, Florida, August 1, 2012.
x
People use computers to look for work at WorkForce One in Hollywood, Florida, August 1, 2012.
People use computers to look for work at WorkForce One in Hollywood, Florida, August 1, 2012.
VOA News
The U.S. Central Bank says the American economy slowed in the first half of the year, but has decided against any immediate policy changes.

After a two-day meeting, Federal Reserve policy makers said they will "closely monitor" the country's economic performance in the coming weeks and will adopt new stimulus measures if they conclude they are needed.

For the moment, however, central bank policy chiefs decided an additional spark was not needed. The American economy is still growing, but only at an anemic 1.5 percent pace in the April-to-June period, while the U.S. jobless rate has remained above 8 percent for 41 straight months.

The central bank concluded that the country's economic growth is likely to "remain moderate" over the next several quarters and that the unemployment rate will "decline only slowly."  

The state of the U.S. economy is the central issue in the American presidential election campaign, as a one-time venture capitalist, Republican Mitt Romney, attempts to oust President Barack Obama, a Democrat. The government's monthly unemployment and job growth report has been a key focal point, with the report for July due out Friday. By the time the Federal Reserve policy makers meet again in mid-September, they also will have the August report.

The central bank said business investment has grown, but consumer spending has slackened from earlier in the year. It said the country's housing industry "remains depressed," while inflation has declined, mostly because crude oil and gasoline prices have dropped. As before, the Federal Reserve said it would keep its benchmark interest rate at zero to one-quarter of a percent through the end of 2014.

Meanwhile, at a re-election campaign rally in the key battleground state of Ohio, Obama acknowledged the economic difficulties Americans have faced in the country's worst downturn since the 1930s.

"Our first order of business is to recover all the jobs and wealth that was lost in the crisis, and we've made strides these last three and a half years to get that done," said the president. "But, beyond that, we're here to reclaim the financial security that's been slipping away for more than a decade. The decade before I came into office your incomes and wages generally weren't going up. Jobs were moving overseas. Auto industry had been getting hammered. So our job is not just to put people back to work, it's also to build an economy where over the long haul that work pays off, so that no matter who you are, or what you look like, or where you come from, here in America you can make it if you try."

Romney has made the U.S. economic struggles the centerpiece of his campaign. He said Obama's policies have failed. Romney has contended that lower taxes and less government regulation would boost the economy and create jobs at a faster pace.

On Thursday, policy chiefs at the European Central Bank are to consider new ways to attack the 17-nation euro currency zone's persistent governmental debt crisis, now in its third year. The central bank could opt to directly buy Spanish and Italian government bonds as a way to ease their borrowing costs.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs