Federal Reserve (Fed) officials talked about asset purchase tapering at their most recent meeting, but few seemed in a hurry to get the process going, according to the minutes released on Wednesday.
The Federal Open Market Committee’s June 15-16 meeting summary provided only a few new glimpses into talks about when the central bank should begin reducing the pace of its bond purchases.
Some members indicated that the economic recovery was proceeding faster than expected and was being accompanied by an outsized rise in inflation, both making the case for taking the Fed’s foot off the policy pedal. However, the prevailing mindset was that there should be no rush and markets must be well prepared for any policy shifts.
Meanwhile, German economic confidence slid to a six-month low in July, survey data among German financial market experts showed on Tuesday.
The ZEW-Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research gauge of expectations plummeted to 63.3 from 79.8, the lowest level seen since January and below economists’ estimates.
Still, the measure of current conditions turned positive for the first time in two years, indicating that more respondents described the situation as good than bad.
“Germany has clearly overcome the coronavirus-related decline,” ZEW president Achim Wambach said in a statement. He added that although the expectations index “has once again fallen significantly, it is still at a very high level”.
Finally, in the UK, house prices fell last month for the first time since January in a sign that house prices are finally starting to cool, according to lender Halifax.
Month-on-month, the price of the average home slipped by 0.5 per cent in June to £260,358, a drop of £1,284 from £261,642 in May’s average. On an annual basis, Halifax reported that property prices were still up 8.8 per cent, or about £21,000 higher than they were a year ago, with the strongest growth in Wales, Northern Ireland and northwest England.
The dip in prices coincided with the end of the full stamp duty holiday, which had removed the purchase tax on properties worth up to £500,000.
This report was compiled by Bank of Valletta for general information purposes only.
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