Monday Moneybeat

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, July 16th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.

Coming next on The World and Everything in It, the Monday Moneybeat.

Interest rates are going to continue climbing into next year. The Federal Reserve Board announced Friday it’ll stay the course for gradual rate increases. The Fed manages interest rates to try to keep inflation in check.

Fed economists foresee a strong economy and continued low unemployment putting upward pressure on prices. As a counterweight to inflationary pressure, the central bank wants to ease up the rates it charges its most creditworthy borrowers.

By the end of next year, that benchmark interest rate will be at a level that should restrain some economic growth.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill for two days this week.

REICHARD: A government safety panel is urging automakers to speed up the replacement of Takata airbags that’ve been blamed for 23 deaths and 300 injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says its leadership has met with 19 companies urging them to accelerate the recalls.

Automakers already missed a December deadline to replace the oldest and most dangerous airbag inflators. They’re blaming consumers for not bringing cars in for repairs. The nonprofit Center for Auto Safety is criticizing the government for not cracking down on automakers.

EICHER: After six months with the tax-rate cut in place, the federal government has collected more revenue overall than it did the first six months of the previous year. It did get about 50 percent less from corporations.

Still, the Treasury Department reports, the budget deficit grew by $69 billion compared to the same period a year ago. Because of the increased revenue, the difference is due entirely to greater government spending.

REICHARD: Big banks were big beneficiaries of this year’s tax reform. JPMorgan Chase reported profits for the second quarter of the year were 18 percent better than a year ago. Despite tepid growth in revenues, Citigroup picked up 16 percent. But it wasn’t enough to beat stock-analyst expectations, so financial stocks took a hit this week on Wall Street.

EICHER: Overall, three major stock indexes finished in positive territory: the Standard & Poor’s 500 up 1.5 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plus 2.3 percent, and the Nasdaq finished higher 1.8 percent. Only the smaller-company index, the Russell 2000, dropped. For the year, all four are in the plus column.

And that’s today’s Monday Moneybeat.

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File) This Oct. 25, 2016, file photo shows the New York Stock Exchange at sunset in lower Manhattan. 

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