What’s Up? (Oct. 31-Nov. 6)
A First Step in Tapering
The Federal Reserve announced plans on Wednesday to slow its bond-buying program, a stimulus measure it introduced early in the pandemic. The central bank will reduce its monthly purchases of $120 billion in Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities by $15 billion a month, starting this month. The Fed’s policy committee did not give any indication it would raise interest rates anytime soon, despite persistently high inflation. But investors expect it will begin to do so midway through 2022.
A flat labor participation rate could make the Fed’s decision about whether to raise interest rates even more complicated. New data released on Friday showed that the American economy added 531,000 jobs in October, a rebound from the previous month. But the measure of how many people are working or actively looking for work is still two percentage points lower than it was…