Investors Await US Central Bank Decisions

Posted August 1st, 2012 at 9:30 am (UTC-5)
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Investors worldwide are watching U.S. central bank policy makers Wednesday to see whether they take new action to try to boost the sluggish American economy.

Officials at the Federal Reserve were set to give their assessment of the world's largest economy after poring over economic trends at a two-day meeting. But economists surveyed by financial news agencies in the U.S. predicted the central bank would refrain from offering new stimulus measures.

Instead, they predicted officials would wait for more economic data before again considering action at its September meeting. The U.S. government is set to release unemployment and job-growth numbers for July on Friday.

The question for the fiscal policy makers is whether the U.S. economy needs an immediate new jolt. The American economy slowed in the April-to-June period, growing only at a 1.5 percent pace, while the country's jobless rate has remained agonizingly high at above 8 percent for 41 straight months.

On Thursday, policy chiefs at the European Central Bank are to consider new ways to attack the 17-nation euro currency zone's persistent governmental debt crisis, now in its third year. The central bank could opt to directly buy Spanish and Italian government bonds as a way to ease their borrowing costs.