Fed Chair Janet Yellen has made clear she would rather delay an interest rate hike for too long than move sooner and risk jeopardizing a tepid economic recovery, a conviction that will face its sharpest test yet on Thursday.
A strengthening labor market and lower gasoline prices mean Americans have extra cash for the holidays. Some economists are forecasting the money will keep flowing into, and out of, consumers’ pockets next year.
Stronger demand for goods and services is prompting companies to hold the line on firings and expand headcount. Continued progress in the labor market will be needed to boost aggregate income and drive consumer spending, which accounts for almost 70 percent of the economy.
Companies boosted payrolls in November by the most in a year, a sign that U.S. employers were optimistic about demand after the end of a government shutdown a month earlier, a private report based on payrolls showed today.