Federal Reserve officials, increasingly concerned over signs the economic recovery is faltering, are considering new steps to bolster growth. With Congress tied in political knots over whether to take further action to boost the economy, Fed leaders are weighing modest steps that could offer more support for economic activity at a time when their target for short-term interest rates is already near zero.
Americans spent a little more in May but not enough to speed along the economic recovery.
Consumer spending rose 0.2 percent last month after no change in April, the Commerce Department said Monday. Incomes rose for the sixth time in seven months, boosting household finances and potentially providing fuel for greater future spending.
Sales collapsed a record 33 percent to an annual pace of 300,000 last month from April, less than the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and the fewest in data going back to 1963, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Demand in prior months was revised down.
Merrill Lynch metals analysts maintain gold will hit a US$1,500 per ounce target by the end of next year as investor demand pushes gold prices higher.
In research published Monday, analysts Michael Widmer, Francisco Blanch, and Alex Tonks are predicting average gold price forecasts of US$1,200/oz this year, $1,350/oz in 2011, and $1,400/oz in 2012, up from $1110/oz, $1179/oz and $1109/oz. respectively.
The net wealth of Asian millionaires has eclipsed that of rich Europeans for the first time, largely because of the relative health of stock markets in Hong Kong, India and China last year, according to a new survey.