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Treasury’s CDFI Fund Announces Availability of New Markets Tax Credits for 2017
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Treasury’s CDFI Fund Announces Availability of New Markets Tax Credits for 2017

Treasury’s CDFI Fund Announces Availability of New Markets Tax Credits for 2017.
WASHINGTON, May 2, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The NMTC Coalition was pleased to see the U.S. Department of the Treasury release the Notice of Allocation Availability (NOAA) today for the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) competition for calendar year (CY) 2017.
The CDFI Fund, which manages the NMTC program at Treasury, will provide $3.5 billion in NMTC allocations to be deployed in low-income rural and urban communities. “To date, the CDFI Fund has made 1,032 awards, totaling $50.5 billion in tax credit allocation authority, to promote public-private partnerships and spur investment to some of our nation’s hardest hit and persistently poor communities,” said Bob Rapoza, spokesperson for the NMTC Coalition.
In FY 2016 alone, the CDFI Fund, which operates the program at Treasury, reported that the NMTC delivered $3.16 billion in financing to 530 businesses, community facilities, and economic revitalization projects.
Communities put the capital to work, creating nearly 11,000 permanent jobs and almost 27,000 construction jobs in areas with high unemployment and poverty.
Legislation was introduced in the House and Senate in February to secure the future of the NMTC.
In the Senate, the bill was introduced by Senators Blunt (R-MO) and Cardin (D-MD) and has 5 Republicans and 6 Democrats signed on.
The bills, both titled The New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act of 2017, respectively H.R.
1098 and S. 384, would ensure that rural communities and urban neighborhoods left outside the economic mainstream have access to financing to grow their economies, build up businesses and create jobs.

Fed Holds Rates Steady, Expects Pick Up in 2017 Growth
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Fed Holds Rates Steady, Expects Pick Up in 2017 Growth

The central bank kept the short-term federal funds rate at between 0.75% and 1% at the conclusion of its two-day policy setting meeting, and said it will continue to analyze economic data before making further gradual increases to the targeted range.
“The committee views the slowing in growth during the first quarter as likely to be transitory and continues to expect that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further, and inflation will stabilize around 2% over the medium term,” members of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement.
The central bank raised rates by 0.25 percentage points at its last meeting in March and said it expected to raise them at least twice more before the year is up.
The Fed did not provide an update to its economic projections at the end of its meeting this week, but CME Group’s federal funds futures show market expectations for odds of a rate rise in June are steady at around 70%.
For example, American consumers say they continue to be upbeat about their economic prospects, but government figures prove shoppers aren’t backing that confidence with higher spending rates.
What’s more, data from the Commerce Department Friday showed the U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of 0.7% in the first three months of the year, a far slower pace than the fourth quarter’s 2.1% rate, as consumer spending barely grew and inventory investments declined.
“Underlying growth in the first quarter appears firmer than headline GDP would suggest,” the economists argued, pointing to declines in the March unemployment and underemployment rates.
“Despite the March setback, the drop in the March unemployment rate coupled with the committee’s apparent growth optimism suggest little need to modify the inflation outlook,” the Goldman economists explained.
At the end of this month’s meeting, the Fed left its inflation outlook mostly unchanged, calling for a stabilization in prices to its 2% target over the medium term.
With an expectation for stronger growth throughout the rest of 2017, Alan MacEachin, chief corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, said it’s likely the soft data – or sentiment surveys – will slip a bit from their lofty levels to come more in line with hard data.

Text of May FOMC statement
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Text of May FOMC statement

Text of May FOMC statement.
Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in March indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen even as growth in economic activity slowed.Job gains were solid, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate declined.
Business fixed investment firmed.
Inflation measured on a 12-month basis recently has been running close to the Committee’s 2 percent longer-run objective.
In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 3/4 to 1 percent.
In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation.
This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.
The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run.
However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.
Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; Charles L. Evans; Stanley Fischer; Patrick Harker; Robert S. Kaplan; Neel Kashkari; and Jerome H. Powell.

European Markets Climb On Greek Bailout Deal
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European Markets Climb On Greek Bailout Deal

European Markets Climb On Greek Bailout Deal.
Investor sentiment received a boost from the news that Greece has agreed to a bailout deal.
British manufacturing activity expanded at the sharpest pace in three years and Eurozone manufacturing activity also expanded at the fastest pace in six years.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.17 percent.
Shire gained 2.51 percent after it reported a profit for its first quarter that advanced compared to the same period last year.
The factory Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 56.7 in April from 56.2 in March.
Eurozone unemployment remained unchanged from the previous month in March at its lowest level in over eight years, preliminary data from Eurostat showed Tuesday.
The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index for the manufacturing sector climbed to 57.3 in April from March’s 4-month low of 54.2.
Meanwhile, economists had expected the index to fall to 54.0.
China’s manufacturing activity expanded at a slower pace in April on weak output and new orders, defying expectations for a modest improvement, survey data from IHS Markit showed Tuesday.

Puerto Rico files for biggest US municipal bankruptcy
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Puerto Rico files for biggest US municipal bankruptcy

Puerto Rico has filed for bankruptcy. “Given the deficit that we have inherited, it is my responsibility to guarantee the best interests of the Puerto Rican people,” Governor Ricardo Rosselló said Wednesday.
Many prominent Wall Street firms own Puerto Rico’s bonds.
They don’t want the island to enter bankruptcy proceedings because it could mean they get paid back far less than what they are owed.
The island’s financial crisis is so bad that Congress installed a Fiscal Oversight Board to call the shots last year.
As businesses and people say goodbye to Puerto Rico, there’s even less money to pay back creditors.
The island’s latest budget plan includes only $800 million a year to pay back creditors.
That’s a mere 20% of what the island had been paying creditors in the past.
Last year, Congress approved a bill called PROMESA (Spanish for “promise”) to try to help Puerto Rico.
It created the oversight board and a special Title III process that is similar to the Chapter 9 bankruptcy provision that cities like Detroit have used in the past.

Canadian Stocks Are Climbing After Early Dip – Canadian Commentary
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Canadian Stocks Are Climbing After Early Dip – Canadian Commentary

Healthcare, gold and energy stocks are leading the way higher in early trade.
The Capped Healthcare Index is higher by 1.85 percent.
The Gold Index is advancing 1.18 percent.
Gold futures were steady Tuesday morning after falling sharply over the past few sessions.
Kinross Gold (K.TO) is gaining 1.51 percent and Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) is advancing 2.24 percent.
The Energy Index is rising 0.69 percent.
Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is gaining 0.60 percent and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is higher by 0.82 percent and Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is climbing 0.38 percent.
Eurozone unemployment remained unchanged from the previous month in March at its lowest level in over eight years, preliminary data from Eurostat showed Tuesday.
The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index for the manufacturing sector climbed to 57.3 in April from March’s 4-month low of 54.2.
Meanwhile, economists had expected the index to fall to 54.0.

Trump’s tall task: Finding jobs for America’s ‘forgotten people’
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Trump’s tall task: Finding jobs for America’s ‘forgotten people’

Most economists believe that America is at full employment.
He’s said the true unemployment rate is 42% and that 94 million Americans are sidelined from the workforce.
But Trump does have a point: The current economy hardly feels like “full employment.”
Too many people are stuck in part-time jobs, and too few people are working at all in their “prime years” between ages 25 and 54.
CNNMoney also finds that an additional roughly 2 million Americans fall in that “sidelined worker” category.
Most haven’t worked in years.
The 14.4 million in need of a full-time job Every month, the Labor Department puts out the official unemployment data.
Additionally, the Labor Department reports there are 1.6 million “marginally attached” workers who searched for a job at some point in the past year but gave up looking recently so they aren’t counted in the official unemployment rate.
Put all this together and you get 14.4 million people who need a full-time job.
Can Trump get these people back to work?

Survey: US businesses added solid 177,000 jobs in April
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Survey: US businesses added solid 177,000 jobs in April

Survey: US businesses added solid 177,000 jobs in April.
WASHINGTON – U.S. businesses added 177,000 jobs last month, a private survey found, a solid gain that suggests the economy is still expanding despite recent signs of slower growth.
The figure is the lowest in six months and comes after three strong gains in ADP’s data.
Last month, the government said employers added only 98,000 jobs, far below the robust hiring in ADP’s report.
The report comes after other recent signs the economy has slowed.
Most of the hiring was in services businesses, such as health care, restaurants, hotels, and shipping.
Manufacturing added 11,000 jobs, a modest gain, while construction firms cut 2,000 positions.
ADP’s report is in line with economists’ forecast for the government’s jobs report, which will be released Friday.
That report will likely show that employers added 185,000 jobs in April, and the unemployment rate rose to 4.6 percent from 4.5 percent, economists predict.
While hiring fell to a six-month low, most economists weren’t concerned.

The dollar is hovering in suspense ahead of the Fed
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The dollar is hovering in suspense ahead of the Fed

The dollar is hovering in suspense ahead of the Fed.
The US dollar index is little changed at 99.07 as of 8:09 a.m.
The Fed will be out with its latest decision at 2 p.m.
ET on Wednesday.
The World Interest Rate Probability data provided by Bloomberg shows a 69.6% chance the central bank will move in June or sooner.
Separately, ADP Employment Change came in at 177,000 for April, above expectations of 175,000.
As for the rest of the world, here’s the scoreboard as of 8:16 a.m.
ET: The euro is little changed at 1.0920 against the dollar.
Separately, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron will square off in a final debate on Wednesday ahead of Sunday’s elections.
The British pound is little changed at 1.2929 against the dollar after construction PMI came in at 53.1 for April, above expectations of 52.0, and above the prior reading of 52.2.

Euro-area GDP growth outpaces America’s
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Euro-area GDP growth outpaces America’s

Euro-area GDP growth outpaces America’s.
THE enduring appeal of GDP is that it offers, or seems to, a summary statistic that tells people how well an economy is doing.
Figures released today show that GDP in the currency zone rose by 0.5% in the first quarter of 2017, an annualised rate of around 2%.
That is quite a bit faster than the 0.7% rate reported in the same period for America’s GDP.
Still, the euro-zone economy is clearly picking up speed, even as America’s goes through a soft spot.
Euro-zone manufacturing grew at its fastest pace for six years in April, according to the purchasing managers’ index, a closely watched gauge of activity.
The corresponding index for America fell.
The good news is not confined to manufacturers.
Differences in the stance of monetary policy in Europe and America reflect the different stages of recovery.
At the conclusion of its monthly monetary-policy meeting on April 27th, the ECB kept its main interest rate at zero and the rate it pays on bank reserves at -0.4%.