Economic Week in Review



Economic Week in Review: Consumers grow gloomier
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This week’s economic reports showed little signs of relief as the
consumer confidence index fell even lower than expected. Consumers
continue to be concerned over rising unemployment rates, historically
high gas prices, and the housing slump. On a brighter note, sales of
existing homes were up for the month, albeit still far below
historical averages. In other news, the Federal Reserve Board’s Open
Market Committee met this week and kept the target funds rate at 2.0%,
putting an end to an eight-month-long string of rate changes. For the
week, the S&P 500 Index fell 3.0% to 1,279 (for a year-to-date total
return of –12%). The yield of the 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell 17
basis points to 3.99%.

To read Vanguard(R) Economic Week in Review in its entirety, go to:
http://www.vanguard.com/visit/econweek062708

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Each Friday I receive a summary of the US Economy with the week in review. I’m going to start posting them here for your review. Whether you like to learn about money or not, I think it’s good to know. 

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Economic Week in Review: Energy prices may be the frontline foe
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A slow-growth economy was on display in this week’s economic
statistics—-but perhaps more worrisome were energy-related cost
increases at the wholesale level that potentially could be passed
along to consumers. Industrial output and housing starts declined,
while the index of leading indicators, though positive, indicated
sluggish economic growth. Yet wholesale prices surged at each stage
of the production process, propelled by higher energy costs. (Another
indication of energy-anxiety: China’s cut in consumption-promoting
fuel subsidies was cited as helping lift the stock market a bit
during a declining week.) For the week, the S&P 500 Index was down
3.1%, finishing at 1,318 (for a year-to-date total return of –9.3%).
The yield of the 10-year U.S. Treasury note declined 11 basis points
to 4.16%.

To read Vanguard(R) Economic Week in Review in its entirety, go to:
http://www.vanguard.com/visit/econweek062008