The Institute for Supply Management on Wednesday said its services index was 56.9 in February, up slightly from 56.7 in January. Analysts were looking for a reading of 56.5, according to a Reuters poll.
By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. private employers added fewer jobs than expected last month, with the gains declining as well from January's revised level as growth slowed in some sectors, a payrolls processor report showed on Wednesday. The ADP National Employment Report, jointly developed with Moody's Analytics, showed a gain of 212,000 private-sector jobs. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP to show a gain of 220,000 jobs. For instance, service-providing employment rose by 181,000 jobs in February, compared with growth of 206,000 in the sector in January.
The Federal Reserve should wait until next year before raising interest rates or risk undermining the very recovery it has helped engineer, a top U.S. central banker said on Wednesday. "Given uncomfortably low inflation and an uncertain global environment, there are few benefits and significant risks to increasing interest rates prematurely," Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans told the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Rotary Club. Evans, a voting member this year on the Fed's policy-setting panel, stands nearly alone at the central bank with that view.
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve struggled with the message being sent by its role in bank bailouts and worried about the impact of a bond-buying program aimed at easing the 2007-2009 financial crisis, according to transcripts released by the U.S. central bank on Wednesday. The transcripts from Fed meetings in 2009 reveal intense discussions on how to prop up the U.S. banking system and nurse an economy reeling from the biggest financial shocks since the Great Depression. They also indicate that central bank officials anticipated a faster economic recovery and were laying out plans on how to exit the Fed's stimulus program long before they were ready to make the transition. In a prescient view of future policy, then-San Francisco Fed President Janet Yellen expressed concern about proposing an exit plan too soon.