Today the Federal Reserve starts a two day policy meeting in Washington, DC. At stake are continued reductions in their bond buying program and hints as to when they will start raising interest rates.
Consumer producer prices were up 0.1% in February. This number shows essentially no inflation pressures in the economy. (Associated Press)
Housing starts during February dropped by 0.2% on cold winter weather and new building permits were up 7.7%. (Reuters)
Copper is trading at 44 month lows as worries about growth in China and the government lets the Yuan trade in a wider band push prices lower. China consumes almost 40% of the world’s copper. (Bloomberg)
US factory production rose the most in six months during February even with all the bad winter weather. The 0.8% gain follows at 0.9% slump in January essentially leaving us where we were in December. Automakers were the big winners with production rising 4.8%. (Market Watch)
The number of millionaire households in the US spiked by 640,000 or 7% to 9.63 million in 2013. That is an all-time high since records started being kept in 1997 and the first record since we 2007 when we entered the recession. Households worth $5 million rose by 100,000 to 1.24 million and those worth $25 million were up 15,000 to 132,000 households. (Spectrem Group)