Outlook: Always Summer

YOU WOULD expect the US Treasury Secretary to be bullish about his own economy - most Americans are. But Lawrence Summers is also an economist by background and you might therefore expect him also to temper his optimism with a degree of caution and self doubt. He does not. Mr Summers, in London briefly on route to the G20 in Berlin, is the latest policy honcho to proclaim that the American economy is going from strength the strength. This week's figures seem to bear him out. Production has accelerated again, business confidence has risen again, yet there is still not a whisper of inflation in the statistics.

Outlook: Lottery investment

IF EVEN the Governor of the Bank of England thinks we should be filling our boots with technology stocks, surely all those private investors piling into the market with abandon must be on to something? Eddie George's comments were perhaps a little over-interpreted - contrary to some reports, that's not what he meant at all really - but since Alan Greenspan, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, seems belatedly to have bought the new economy story, why not other central bankers too?

Personal Finance: Time to spread the risk

Microsoft's court defeat may boost technology sector, by Paul Slade

News Analysis: US data suggests New Paradigm is here to stay

Easing employment costs suggest that high growth is being achieved without stoking inflation in the labour market

How the US should prevent a global meltdown

The IMF urges the Fed to keep its finger on the interest rate trigger - to shoot first, ask questions later

After the bull run is over...

It does well to remember that, even in the up-beat United States, shares can fall as well as rise

Outlook: Why the Bank has done us a favour

IT IS always nice to be in with the crowd, but in the end it is also better to be out on a limb and right than to follow consensus slavishly. The Bank of England yesterday did a very unpopular thing and raised interest rates, prompting almost universal howls of protest. In so doing it has shown itself to be following an activist policy. The message seems to be that if the evidence starts to point to the need for a move, this will happen quickly on the basis that pre-emption ought to result in lower peaks and higher troughs, or in other words a less violent interest- rate cycle.

Time the MPC abandoned activism

IT IS time once again for the economic pundits to ponder what the Monetary Policy Committee should do with interest rates at its monthly meeting. But perhaps we are all posing the wrong question and ought instead to ask whether the MPC should do anything. For doing nothing might be a better option most of the time.

Markets soar as jobs figures in US quell fears of rate rise

THE FINANCIAL markets soared yesterday after jobs figures showed the United States economy growing less rapidly than expected. The report dampened fears of a third interest rate rise this year, a concern which has been a drag on the stock market for the past few weeks.

Markets soar as US job figures quell rate fears

THE FINANCIAL markets soared yesterday after jobs figures showed the United States economy growing less rapidly than expected. The report dampened fears of a third interest rate rise this year, a concern which has been a drag on the stock market for the past few weeks.

Outlook: August may be the cruellest month

IS THIS it? August is turning out to be a torrid month for the financial markets and yesterday offered more grist to the mill of those who fear the crash is nigh, perhaps not in one mighty fall but a sustained correction over the period of a few weeks. The Footsie was off 2.5 per cent yesterday and it has lost 10 per cent of its value since the peak a month ago. The bond market, meanwhile, is having a wretched time waiting for US interest rates to rise to curb inflation.

News Analysis: Greenspan keeps the markets guessing over reappointment

The Fed chairman's term runs out next year, and no one is saying whether he will stay on

Dash for cash as rate fears spark UK share sell-off

EUROPEAN FUND managers are dumping British and US equities and boosting their stocks of cash because of growing fears of a hike in US interest rates, according to a new survey. Sentiment about Wall Street has hit its most bearish level for more than four years, Merrill Lynch said.

Outlook: US economy

AS ONE US Treasury official noted yesterday in announcing plans to buy back US government bonds, the years 1998-99 mark the first time the federal government has boasted back to back budget surpluses since 1956-57. There will be a record reduction in the national debt this fiscal year. If all goes to plan, the debt will be eliminated by 2015.
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