Economics in the News – March 2-8
Economics impacts our lives every day. Below are some of the top storylines from this past week in economic news.
- The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates by 0.5% in an emergency session, with investors remaining cautious with the spread of the coronavirus. The Washington Post ($) highlights the latest rate cut, marking the fourth time since the start of 2019 that the Federal Reserve has reduced interest rates.
- The reduction in interest rates will have an impact in home sales, reports USA Today. With listings being down, homebuyers are likely to face more competition in the purchase of a new property. In addition, new home buyers will be able to take advantage of the lowest interest rate since October 2016, with the 30-year fixed rate dropping to 3.56%.
- The U.S. job market added 273,000 jobs in February, as announced by the Labor Department on Friday. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.5%, matching its 50-year low. NPR reports that February’s figures don’t take the spread of the coronavirus into consideration.
- Italy has taken dramatic steps in its attempt to stop the spreading of the coronavirus. The Associated Press reports that nearly a quarter of the Italian population remains in quarantine, with cities such as Venice and Milan remain in lockdown until April 3 as prompted by a decree signed by Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte.
- Sabrina Ionescu has been a sensation this season for Oregon women’s basketball and across the country, becoming the first player ever in college basketball – men or women – to surpass 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists in a career. The Wall Street Journal ($) details the impact that stars such as Ionescu has had with numerous women’s programs across the country drawing at least 50% of their school’s total basketball attendance.
- Few countries have been impacted by the coronavirus as hard as Italy. The Wall Street Journal ($) reports on how the virus has threatened to lead the country into a recession, especially given how Milan, the Italian financial hub, has seemingly shut down.