Optimistic Report for Housing from FOMC

first_img FOMC Government Interest rates 2017-02-22 Sandra Lane Optimistic Report for Housing from FOMC February 22, 2017 605 Views There was good news for the housing industry coming from a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which released its meeting minutes on Wednesday.Taking place on January 31 and February 1 in Washington, D.C., members of the FOMC said their economic forecasts and judgments about monetary policy had not changed much since the December meeting. Against this backdrop, they thought it appropriate to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at ½ to ¾ percent at this meeting. Members felt that recent indicators of activity in the housing sector were generally positive. Starts and permits for single-family housing and sales of existing homes rose moderately in the fourth quarter, and real residential investment bounced back after two quarterly declines. A couple of participants commented that supply constraints might be holding back new homebuilding.Regarding the housing sector, consumer spending posted a moderate increase in the fourth quarter, and participants generally anticipated that further gains in consumer spending would contribute importantly to economic growth in 2017. They expected that, although interest rates had moved higher, household spending would continue to be supported by rising employment and income as well as high levels of household wealth. The consensus was that the labor market had continued to strengthen and that economic activity had continued to expand at a moderate pace. Job gains had remained solid, and the unemployment rate had stayed near its recent low. Household spending had continued to rise moderately, while business fixed investment had remained softHowever, there were some concerns expressed by participants at the meeting. They emphasized their considerable uncertainty about the prospects for changes in fiscal and other government policies as well as about the timing and magnitude of the net effects of such changes on economic activity. In discussing the risks to the economic outlook, participants continued to view the possibility of more expansionary fiscal policy as having increased the upside risks to their economic forecasts, although some noted that several potential changes in government policies could pose downside risks. In addition, a few participants noted that prospects for residential investment would also depend on whether household formation picked up and how housing market activity responded to the recent rise in mortgage interest rates.Regarding the outlook for inflation, some participants continued to be concerned that faster-than-expected economic growth or a substantial undershooting of the longer-run normal unemployment rate posed risks to inflation.Participants generally agreed that the Committee should continue to closely monitor inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments. It was discussed whether current assessments of economic conditions and the medium-term outlook warranted altering earlier views of the appropriate path for the target range for the federal funds rateThe recent improvement in consumer sentiment was also viewed as a potentially positive factor in the outlook for spending, although several participants cautioned that an elevated level of sentiment, even if it was sustained, was likely to make only a small contribution to household spending beyond those from income, wealth, and credit conditions. Finally, the view that gradual increases in the federal funds rate were likely to be appropriate also reflected the assessment that the neutral real rate, defined as the real interest rate that is neither expansionary nor contractionary when the economy is operating at or near its potential, was currently quite low and was likely to rise only slowly over time. center_img in Government, Headlines, News Sharelast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Four Seasons Hotels

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterFour Seasons Hotels & Resorts and BRG Group, the leading private multi-sector business group in Vietnam, will open a new hotel in the heart of Vietnam’s capital city. Located within the historic downtown, Four Seasons Hotel Hanoi at Hoan Kiem Lake will offer the latest in luxury hospitality in this global city.Rich with history, art and culture, Hanoi attracts visitors from across the region and internationally, and is one of Vietnam’s top leisure destinations. The new hotel will offer views of Hoan Kiem Lake and the bustling streets leading to the Old and French Quarters. The hotel will be located a short walk or scooter ride from many museums and galleries, shopping and the city’s vibrant culinary scene.Home to a number of foreign embassies, Hanoi is a busy commercial and diplomatic centre as well as a hub for those travelling onward to nearby Halong Bay and Sapa.“As more and more visitors travel to Hanoi, we look forward to offering a hospitality experience that will redefine luxury in this great city. We are committed to showcasing Hanoi as a choice destination for new and returning visitors,” says Madame Nguyen Thi Nga, chairwoman of BRG Group. “We are proud to partner with Four Seasons on this new hotel, a name synonymous with exceptional quality and service, and are confident that together we will honour the rich culture of Vietnam, while providing the best accommodation in the city.”“Hanoi is an incredible city, with a great deal to offer international and local travellers, and we look forward to expanding in the region with first-time partners BRG Group on this exciting project. This is a fantastic opportunity to offer travellers a Four Seasons experience in Hanoi, with partners who are truly passionate about the future of this city, and this hotel in particular,” says J. Allen Smith, president and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.Designed by international award-winning firms, WATG Architects and SRSS Interior Design Studio, Four Seasons Hotel Hanoi at Hoan Kiem Lake will draw from the French Colonial inspirations that are characteristic of Hanoi and include 95 rooms and suites as well as a spa and fitness centre, pools, and event and meeting spaces. Joining the dynamic culinary landscape in the city, Wimberly Interiors, experts in cosmopolitan design, will develop the dining and lounge offerings, including an all-day restaurant, lounge and rooftop bar.Four Seasons Hotel Hanoi at Hoan Kiem Lake will be the company’s second location in Vietnam, joining Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more