3/22: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

February Leading Economic Index rose for first time in five months

The US LEI increased in February for the first time in five months, rising 0.2 percent to 115.5.  February’s improvement was driven by accommodative financial conditions and a rebound in stock prices, which more than offset weaknesses in the labor market components.

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Federal Reserve opts to keep interest rates at current levels in March meeting

Due to recent softening in the labor market and official inflation close to the 2-percent level, the Fed has opted to keep their benchmark interest rate unchanged for now at 2.25-2.50 percent.

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Federal Reserve releases revised economic projections

It its revised March projections, the Federal Reserve is now estimating overall GDP growth at 2.1 percent in 2019 and 1.9 percent in 2020, inflation at 1.8 percent in 2019 and 2.0 percent in 2020, and the unemployment rate at 3.7 percent in 2019 and 3.8 percent in 2020.

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