Fed Stimulus Hopes Dashed — Morning Business Memo

Apr 4, 2012 8:16am

The Federal Reserve appears to be in no hurry to add further stimulus to the economy by buying more bonds. Minutes from a Fed meeting show policy makers are concerned the jobs market could weaken this spring. But there’s little support for more bond buying to push down interest rates and encourage investment in stocks.

Sizzling sales by automakers are a plus for jobs in the car industry with more new US assembly plants. Analysts and some manufacturers are raising their forecasts after industry sales in March rose 13 percent. Chrysler and Volkswagen had gains of more than 30 percent compared with the year before. Nissan, Hyundai and Kia all reported record sales last month. High gas prices appear to be giving sales a lift as many consumers trade in old gas guzzlers for fuel-efficient cars. If the March sales pace continues the auto industry will end up selling about 14.4 million cars and light trucks in 2012 compared with 12.8 million last year.

US Airways appears to be pushing ahead with calls for a merger with American Airlines. According to the Wall Street Journal, US Airways group has told some AMR creditors that a merger would lead to over $1.5 billion in cost savings and added sales. AMR filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last November.

This morning’s bond auction by Spain did not go as well as expected, raising concerns about the government’s attempts to control its debt. The yield on Spanish 10 year bonds rose to 5.51 percent, compared with 4.9 percent last month. Spain’s conservative government unveiled a harsh round of spending cuts in a bid to cut its deficit. But this comes as the economy is shrinking and unemployment continues to rise.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio twitter.com/daviesabc

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