There is little doubt that the struggling U.S. economy could use some goosing, and the U.S. Federal Reserve is in a position to deliver a good boost.
But, a move isn't likely at the conclusion of today's (Wednesday) Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.
While a fresh spate of data suggests new steps from the central bank are warranted, many economists warn that the economy doesn't need immediate action - especially since the prior moves from the Fed haven't been very effective.
Growth has clearly slowed and unemployment remains elevated, but the sluggish pace of the U.S. economy may not be slow enough to compel the Fed to make an impactful move today, and any Fed decisions will be pushed to later in the year.
Today's FOMC Meeting: Not Ready for QE3
The U.S. Commerce Department last week reported that the U.S. economy grew at a paltry 1.5% annual rate in the second quarter, down from 2% in the first. Plus, the Labor Department reported initial jobless claims ticked up in the latest week while the unemployment level remains at a sickly 8.2%.
Fed chief Ben Bernanke maintains that his team is prepared to take further action if unemployment stays high, but he remains vague on what action might be taken.
With the reeling recession in Europe and a slowdown in stalwart China, global growth has been severely dented and is weighing on the U.S. economy. Those factors increase the odds of a third round of quantitative easing (QE3), but the Fed may not pull the trigger Wednesday.
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