US Fed meets as retail sales perk up | india | Hindustan Times
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US Fed meets as retail sales perk up

india Updated: Mar 13, 2012 21:21 IST
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The US Federal Reserve on Tuesday began a meeting where policymakers are likely to leave monetary policy on hold but not rule out further easing as they acknowledge a somewhat brighter economic outlook.

In the latest release pointing to strength following last week's firm reading on employment, US retail sales climbed 1.1% in February, the biggest gain in five months.

Still, the US central bank is likely to remain concerned by an unemployment rate that remains at an elevated 8.3%, a symbol of what many officials see as a high level of unused productive capacity.

"I just don't see them being anywhere near ready (to take action) and certainly not under any pressure to make any judgment this week about which way things are going to go," said Nigel Gault of IHS Global Insight. "This is really the occasion for them to do absolutely nothing."

Despite the upbeat data that showed US added 227,000 jobs in February, economists believe the central bank would launch another bond-buying spree worth more than $500 billion.