14/11/16 - US Consumer Confidence Strong

USD

U.S. economic growth prospects appear strong enough for the Federal Reserve to proceed with gradual interest rate rises but the central bank is monitoring an increase in long-term U.S. government borrowing costs, Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer said on Friday.

Fischer said the Fed was "reasonably close" to achieving its employment and inflation goals, and the case for tightening monetary policy "quite strong" as a result.

Earlier in prepared remarks, the U.S. central bank's second-in-command said the current economic outlook was consistent with a gradual increase in interest rates.

Fischer did not directly mention the outcome of the U.S. presidential election during the event but appeared to welcome the prospect of more fiscal stimulus, which the Fed has been urging to take the burden for growth off monetary policy.

Consumer confidence surged in early November, as Americans said the economic outlook brightened. The University of Michigan’s initial November sentiment reading, which was taken before the results of the presidential election were known, jumped to 91.6 from 87.2 in October. That was 0.3% higher than at the same time a year ago, and also topped the 2016 average of 91.

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