In the spring, policymakers perceived some signs of softness in spending, which they attributed in part to the earlier step-up in energy prices. Nonetheless, the federal funds rate was still relatively low, and robust underlying growth in productivity was providing ongoing support to economic activity. Accordingly, the Committee anticipated some strengthening of activity, and it reduced policy accommodation further in May by lifting the target federal funds rate another quarter percentage point, to 3 percent.
Subsequently, the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina increased uncertainty about the vitality of the economic expansion in the near term. The destruction in the Gulf Coast region, the associated dislocation of economic activity--including considerable disruption of energy production--and the accompanying further boost to energy prices were expected to impose some restraint on spending, production, and employment in the near term.
Over the following weeks, the Gulf Coast region absorbed further setbacks from Hurricanes Rita and Wilma. The growth of economic activity dipped for a time--hiring slowed, consumer spending softened, and confidence declined. At the same time, however, soaring energy prices fed through to top-line consumer price inflation and pushed some survey measures of inflation expectations upward. With employment and growth expected to be supported by accommodative financial conditions, the FOMC continued the process of policy tightening at its November meeting.
By December, incoming data indicated that the overall expansion remained on track, although recovery from the hurricanes was slow. These catastrophic events have changed the economy in many ways.
Individual Project Pricing Component
Organization: KB Homes-
KB Home is one of America's premier home builders with domestic operating divisions in some of the fastest growing areas of the country including Texas. The company is one of the leading... [continues]
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