KRWG

John Ydstie

The Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates at its December meeting, Jerome Powell, President Trump's pick to be Fed chairman, signaled Tuesday.

"I think the case for raising interest rates at our next meeting is coming together," Powell told the Senate Banking Committee at his confirmation hearing.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ELISE HU, HOST:

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen today announced that she will resign from the Federal Reserve Board once her successor, Jerome Powell, is sworn in.

Yellen is the first woman to serve as Fed chair. While her term as Fed chair ends in February, Yellen could have stayed on the board until 2024, serving out her 14-year term as a Fed governor. Instead she'll follow the practice of previous Fed leaders and leave the board once Powell becomes chairman.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

When Republicans began assembling their tax overhaul proposals they were aiming to make them revenue neutral; the tax cuts could not lead to increased deficits. Holding the line on deficits has long been the goal of Republican deficit hawks.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, the first woman to hold that position, won't have the opportunity to serve four more years as leader of the nation's central bank. But she leaves the Fed's top post having largely achieved its mandate to engineer full employment while keeping inflation at a level that fosters growth.

President Trump on Thursday named Jerome Powell to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve, the first time in decades that a president hasn't reappointed a chief of the central bank for a second term.

If confirmed by the Senate, Powell, 64, will succeed Janet Yellen — the first woman to head the Fed — whose term expires in February. Powell, a current member of the Fed's board of governors, is expected to pursue policies largely in line with the gradual interest rate hikes of the Yellen-led Fed.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A day before President Trump was expected to name their next leader, Federal Reserve policymakers decided to hold a key interest rate steady at between 1 percent and 1.25 percent. However, analysts are still looking for a rate increase at the central bank's next meeting, in mid-December.

President Trump says he is very close to making a decision about who will lead the Federal Reserve once Janet Yellen's term expires in February.

The Fed chair is often called the second-most-powerful person in Washington, after the president. By steering interest rate policy, the Fed chair affects economic growth, the pace of job creation and inflation.

President Trump made his view of the North American Free Trade Agreement very clear during the presidential election. He called NAFTA "the worst trade deal in ... the history of this country." And Trump blamed NAFTA for the loss of millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs.

His administration is in the midst of renegotiating the free trade deal with Canada and Mexico, and that is making many U.S. farmers and ranchers nervous.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said it will hold short-term interest rates steady for the time being. But the central bank said that in October it will begin to unwind the extraordinary stimulus it used to battle the Great Recession.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said the process will be gradual. But over the long run, the plan will put upward pressure on consumer interest rates, including for car loans and mortgages.

The dollar is down nearly 10 percent since the beginning of the year. That's bad news if you're a tourist traveling to Europe, but great news if your U.S. company sells goods overseas.

The greenback's tumble against a basket of currencies reflects both positive and negative trends, analysts say.

The biggest factor in the dollar's decline is doubts among currency investors that the Trump administration will be able to put in place pro-growth policies, says Jens Nordvig, CEO of Exante Data, a financial advisory firm.

The "Dieselgate" scandal may have dented Volkswagen sales in the U.S., but demand remains strong for two VW products: classic Beetles and vintage buses. Collectors are pushing up prices of both. A small body shop in Williamsport, Md., has played a part in that. Cooker's Restoration & Fabrication takes vehicles that look like they're headed for the scrap heap and turns them into showpieces.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

In the United States, there's a record number of jobs open: around 6 million. That's just about one job opening for every officially unemployed person in the country.

Matching the unemployed with the right job is difficult, but there are some things employers could do to improve the odds.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Local, state and federal agencies have mobilized to provide relief for victims of Harvey in east Texas and in the state of Louisiana. Now businesses are joining that effort. Here's NPR's John Ydstie.

Children who start school at an older age do better than their younger classmates and have better odds of attending college and graduating from an elite institution. That's according to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Malala Yousafzai was only 15 when she was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for campaigning for the education of girls. Now, she has been accepted to Oxford, one of the world's elite universities.

Malala tweeted, "So excited to go to Oxford!!!" She also congratulated other students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who received news Thursday about their university futures.

At Oxford Malala will study philosophy, politics and economics.

A fixture of the London landscape and soundscape, Big Ben, is falling silent for four years. The bell will cease its regular tolling while extensive repairs are made to the famous clock tower that looms over the Palace of Westminster, the home of the British Parliament.

Global stock markets ended their worst week in months amid rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, though U.S. stock indexes steadied on Friday to close up slightly.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Americans have been waiting for a solid pay raise for years. Maybe there's good news awaiting them as the country employs more people.

The U.S. economic recovery has gone on for eight long years, and the unemployment rate is at a low 4.4 percent. But wage gains have barely budged.

That's got economists scratching their heads.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent between April and June.

It was nice comeback from the tepid 1.2 percent annual growth rate of the first quarter and more in line with the turbo-charged growth of 3 percent that has been promised by the Trump administration.

The latest growth was partially driven by an increase in consumer spending. It's a positive sign that Americans are opening up their wallets, especially since consumer spending makes up about 70 percent of the economy.

The Trump administration's promise to turbocharge economic growth has yet to be fulfilled, even though forecasters are predicting that the economy has rebounded from a weak 1.4 percent annual growth rate in the first three months to a rate closer to 2.8 percent. That is the number many economists are expecting to see when the government issues its report on second-quarter growth on Friday.

After a two-day meeting in Washington, D.C., Federal Reserve policymakers say they'll keep their benchmark rate in a range between 1 percent and 1.25 percent for the time being.

Fed officials said "job gains have been solid" and the U.S. "labor market continues to strengthen" in the statement after a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee.

The officials described economic activity as "rising moderately." They noted that unemployment rate has declined since the beginning of the year. The Fed is close to meeting its mandate to maximize employment.

If you've checked your retirement account lately or read the business headlines you probably know the stock market is riding high. The major U.S. stock indexes are in record territory. So what's lifting the market? Despite all the turmoil in Washington, is it still the Trump rally?

Since the U.S. election, the S&P 500 is up 16 percent and the Dow is up 18 percent, even though President Trump has yet to deliver on most of his pro-growth policies, including tax cuts and a big infrastructure plan.

A key part of President Trump's tax plan is to repatriate corporate profits held overseas back to the U.S. With the lure of lower corporate rates, the idea is that companies will free up overseas earnings and instead invest in jobs and equipment in the U.S. A similar scheme was tried during the administration of George W. Bush, but companies used most of the money on stock buybacks or to pay dividends to shareholders.

President Trump has proposed big tax cuts for businesses and individuals — breaks that could reduce federal revenue by trillions of dollars. Economists and tax specialists say that unless they're paid for, the tax cuts could explode budget deficits and the national debt.

The prospect has prominent Republicans and Republican members of Congress worried.

Federal Reserve officials left interest rates unchanged as they ended their policy-making meeting in Washington, D.C., today.

The Fed raised its benchmark rate by a quarter of a percentage point back in March, to a range of 0.75 percent to 1 percent, where it remains. In their post-meeting statement today, the central bank policymakers provided little guidance on when their next rate hike might come.

Pages