Financial and Economic Brief - November 7, 2017by © Liberty Publishing, Inc.
October Jobs Report
The U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate was 4.1%. The jobs-creation number was considerably below expectations of 310,000. A broader measure of joblessness that includes discouraged workers and those at work part -time for economic reasons fell from 8.3% to 7.9%. “Today's report… is still a relatively decent number. It still points towards the positive trend that we've seen in payroll growth over the last several months and the last couple of years actually,” said Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens Bank. “In general, the economy is moving along, though a little softer than many market participants anticipated.”
Gas Prices on the Rise
Gasoline prices have risen for most of the U.S. at a time in the year when there is usually “relief” at the pump. Amid rising oil prices and ongoing refinery maintenance due to the effects of the fall hurricanes, fuel prices have jumped over the last week, according to consumer-information service GasBuddy. The average national price of $2.52 per gallon was up 30 cents from a year ago, according to AAA. Another factor driving up prices: high demand for gasoline. With the economy strong, Americans are hitting the road. Also, oil prices have risen in recent weeks, topping $55 per barrel Thursday. Still, analysts are predicting that gas prices will ease in the coming weeks.
Dudley Leaving Fed
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York confirmed that William Dudley, “among the most influential monetary policymakers throughout the financial crisis and its aftermath”, expects to retire by mid-2018, before his term officially ends in January 2019. The New York Fed’s board said its search committee aims to name a successor by the middle of next year. The announcement accelerates a revolution in Fed leadership that could upend its cautious approach to raising interest rates and to getting rid of some of the $3.5-trillion in bonds that were purchased to stimulate the economy during the 2007-2009 crisis and recession.