Global Glance: Fed leaves rates unchanged; GOP revives struggling health care bill

Powered by The Associated Press

Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:

Fed leaves rates unchanged but signals further hikes ahead

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve has left its benchmark interest rate at a still-low level near 1 percent while signaling that it expects a resilient U.S. economy and solid job market to justify higher rates later this year. A statement the Fed issued Wednesday after its latest policy meeting noted that the economy slowed sharply during the January-March quarter but that it expects that slump to be “transitory.” The Fed’s pause in raising rates comes after it modestly lifted its benchmark short-term rate in December and March. Most economists expect it to do so again when it next meets in mid-June. Read more

GOP revives struggling health care bill and plans House vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a startling turnabout, Republicans say they are ready to push their prized health care bill through the House and claim a victory for President Donald Trump, six weeks after nearly leaving it for dead and days after support from GOP moderates seemed to crumble anew. House leaders planned a vote Thursday on the legislation, revamped since collapsing in March to attract most hard line conservatives and some GOP centrists. In a final tweak, leaders were adding a modest pool of money to help people with pre-existing medical conditions afford coverage, a concern that caused a near-fatal rebellion among Republicans in recent days. Read more

Survey: Small business owners lose some post-election cheer

NEW YORK (AP) — Small business owners have lost some of their post-election optimism, according to a survey released Thursday by Wells Fargo & Co. The bank’s quarterly small business index, based on a survey taken in early April, dropped to a reading of 95 from 100 at the start of 2017 and 80 in the fourth quarter. Other small business surveys had also shown a surge in optimism after the election and the inauguration of Donald Trump. Read more

Eurozone economy growing at ‘fastest rate in 6 years’

LONDON (AP) — European stocks got a sizeable lift Thursday after centrist French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron was widely perceived to have gotten the better of the far-right’s Marine Le Pen in a televised debate and a survey showed economic growth in the 19-country eurozone striking a six-year high. Financial information company IHS Markit said its purchasing managers’ composite output index – a broad gauge of economic activity – rose to 56.8 points in April from 56.4 the previous month. The reading was at its highest level since April 2011 and a tad ahead of the earlier estimate. Read more

Puerto Rico faces uncertain future as debt saga unfolds

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Uncertainty is spreading across Puerto Rico and the U.S. municipal bond market now that the U.S. territory has taken an unprecedented step into federal court to restructure a portion of its $73 billion debt. Many economists anticipated the island’s move Wednesday to seek a bankruptcy-like process amid a 10-year recession, but no one can predict what lies ahead In the next couple of days, the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to appoint a federal district court judge to oversee Puerto Rico’s case. The judge will ultimately decide how and which Puerto Rico assets will be distributed to bondholders. Read more

Want the world’s top business news in your inbox? Sign up here for our newsletters.

Leave a Reply

Have you heard?

Missouri Business Alert is participating in CoMoGives2019!

Find out how we plan to use your gift to enhance training and programming for our students