Interest Rates Update

Federal Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen spoke Monday to the World Affairs Council in Philadelphia saying the Federal Reserve does not intend to raise the interest rate at this time.  An interest rate hike was on the agenda for the June 14th and 15th meeting, but declining May unemployment statistics primarily influenced the Fed's decision to hold off.  Ms. Yellen stated this was not the first time the Fed's expectations were thwarted by economic statistics since the financial crisis.  
Overall, the speech was optimistic with her review of the economic health of the country.  "I see good reasons to expect that the positive forces supporting employment growth and higher inflation will continue to outweigh the negative ones", she said.   
The federal government announced only 38,000 jobs were added to the economy in May which was below expectations and the pace of hiring so far for the year.  In sharp contrast, Florida continues to lead the nation in the in job growth with Governor Rick Scott announcing 28,000 private sector jobs added in April, giving a total of 70,000 jobs created throughout the state thus far in 2016. 
Unemployment for the state in April 2016, however, was 4.8 percent which is in line with the national average.   

Local seasonally-adjusted unemployment rates in April 2016 were 4.5 percent for Lee County, and 4.9 percent for Collier County.

By: Kathy Zorn




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