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Fed美联储调查报告:经济增长速度减慢

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Fed survey: Economic growth has slowed

美联储调查报告:经济增长速度减慢

The economy has weakened since the start of this year as shoppers turned even more cautious given the severe housing slump and painful credit crunch.

今年开春伊始,经济衰退已见端倪,住房市场严重萧条和信贷忍痛紧缩令买家更趋谨慎。

Manufacturers and other businesses, meanwhile, had to cope with skyrocketing prices for energy and other raw materials. The businesses’ ability to pass along higher prices to their customers was mixed, according to the Federal Reserve’s new snapshot of nationwide economic conditions released Wednesday.

制造业等领域都不得不面对能源等原材料的暴涨价格。据美联储委员会周三发表的全国经济状况最新快报称,商业力图将提价转嫁给顾客也是好坏参半。

Many economists fear that the country is teetering on the edge of a recession or is in one already.

许多经济学家担心国家濒临衰退边缘或者已经进入衰退。

“Economic growth has slowed since the beginning of the year,” the Fed reported. Two-thirds of the Fed’s 12 regions “cited softening or weakening in the pace of business activity, while the others referred to subdued, slow or modest growth,” the Fed said.

美联储报告指出,“今年初以来经济增长放缓”。美联储认为,美联储辖下12个地区中有三分之二“在商业方面显现其弱化或转弱的步伐,而其他地区则可称为增长放慢、缓慢或温和”。

The report suggested that persisting problems in the housing market and harder-to-get credit are affecting the behavior of individuals and businesses alike — making them think twice about spending and investing.

报告建议,住房市场以及难以获得信贷的此类长期问题正在影响个人和商业行为——令人们对消费和投资都实施三思而后行。

The nation’s retail sector is feeling the strain.

全国零售业感受到压力。

“Reports on retail spending were generally downbeat,” the Fed said.

美联储说,“零售消费的报告普遍认为低迷”。

The Fed said that retailers in a majority of regions described sales as “below plan, downbeat, weak or having softened.” Clothing sales, for instance, were reported as soft in the regions of New York and Philadelphia and Richmond, Va. Several regions noted declines in sales of “big ticket” goods and home-related items, the Fed said. Auto sales nationwide were characterized as slow or sluggish, the Fed said.

美联储表示,多数地区零售商对销售形容为“未完成计划、悲观、疲弱或已走弱”。以服装销售为例,报告指在纽约和费城等地区以及弗吉尼亚州的里士满均显走弱。美联储宣布已注意到几个地区的“大票”商品和家居有关物品销售有所下降。美联储说,汽车销售全国性地呈现缓慢或疲软。

Spending by consumers accounts for a big chunk of overall economic activity and thus plays a major role in determining whether the economy will survive the housing and credit crises or fall victim to those problems.

消费者支出占整体经济很大一块比例,故在决定经济能否度过房屋和信贷危机或成为此类危机的牺牲品方面将发挥重大作用。

Economic growth slowed to a near halt in the final three months of this year, advancing at a pace of just 0.6 percent. Many economists believe growth in the current January-to-March quarter will be worse — a pace of around 0.4 percent. Some analysts, however, believe the economy is actually shrinking now.

经济增长放缓将在今年最后3个月停滞不前,一路增长速度仅为0.6 %。很多经济学家认为,目前1月份至3月份这一季度的增长情况会变得更糟(增长速度约0 .4 %左右) 。然而,有些分析师却认为目前的美国经济实际上只是缩小而已。

To help shore up things, the Federal Reserve has been cutting a key interest rate since September. As the economic situation continued to falter, the Fed turned much more aggressive. It slashed rates by 1.25 percentage points in the span of just eight days in January — the biggest one-month rate reduction in a quarter century.

为了打捞救助百业,美联储委员会自9月以来已切割部分关键利率。由于经济形势继续衰退,美联储措施更为积极,在1月份短短8天内已调降利率1.25个百分点——四分之一世纪以来当月利率降低调幅最大。

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke signaled last week that the central bank stands ready to lower rates again at its next meeting, March 18.

美联储主席伯南克上周暗示,央行已作好准备拟于3月18日召开的下一次会议再次调低利率。

#p#分页标题#e#

Some worry that the country could be headed for a bout of stagflation — a dangerous mix of stagnant economic activity and stubborn inflation. But Bernanke, in his congressional appearance last week, said he didn’t believe that was the case.

有人担心国家可能进入一轮滞胀——停滞的经济活动和顽固性通货膨胀的危险组合。但伯南克上周在国会露面时表示他相信事实不致于此。

The Fed’s report said that companies had to deal with rising energy prices, which translated into increased transportation and shipping costs. Companies also reported price increases for metals, petrochemicals and food.

美联储的报告说,企业必须认真应对的能源价格上涨已导致交通运输费用增长,报告还说,价格上涨还波及金属、化工和食品。

However, “firms ability to pass along cost increases by raising selling prices varied,” the Fed said.

美联储表示,不过“企业力图通过提高销售价格来转嫁成本的增加”。

The Boston region, for instance, noted that retailers were passing “some price increases on to customers and some manufacturers were raising selling prices to partially offset rising costs.” Half the manufacturers in the Cleveland region had raised prices or added surcharges since the Fed’s last report in mid-January. The Dallas and Atlanta regions reported some companies raised their prices but others were constrained by competitive pressures. The Kansas City region said retail prices were “mostly stable.” The Chicago region said businesses — other than construction and retail — were passing along cost increases to their customers.

例如,已注意到波士顿地区的零售商通过转嫁“一些提价给消费者以及一些制造商提高销售价格以部分抵消成本上升”。美联储于一月中旬发布最后报告以来,克利夫兰地区有一半厂家都相继提价或增加附加费用。达拉斯和亚特兰大地区报道说,虽有些公司提高了价格,但有些还受到竞争压力的制约。堪萨斯城地区表示,零售价“大多稳定”。芝加哥地区说,商业(不包括建筑业和零售业)将成本增加转嫁给他们的顾客。

On the manufacturing front, activity was reported to be sluggish or to have slowed in about half of the Fed’s regions, the survey said. Some areas continued to cite weak demand for products and equipment used for building and furnishing homes. All Fed regions, however, expressed “caution or concern” about their near-term business prospects, the Fed said.

调查结果表明,美联储辖下约一半地区的制造业报以缓慢或有所下降。有些地区的对用于建筑业和家居装饰的产品需求持续举弱。美联储宣布,不过所有美联储地区表示他们对近期的商业前景仍持“谨慎或关注”。

A separate report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed that factories saw demand for their products drop sharply in January. New orders for manufactured goods fell 2.5 percent, the biggest decline in five months. Another report from the Institute for Supply Management showed that activity in the nation’s service sector shrank in February for the second straight month.

由美国商业部于周三披露的另一份报告显示,一月份工厂的产品订单出现暴跌。新的制品订单下跌2.5 % ,跌幅创5个月来新低。由美国供应管理学会公布的另一份报告显示,全国服务行业2月份行情均告第二个月继续缩水。

The Fed’s report, meanwhile, continued to paint a bleak picture of housing.

同时,美联储对住房市场的报告继续看淡。

Most areas continued to suffer sagging home sales and home prices.

大部分地区继续饱受低靡的房屋销售和房价之苦。

The one exception: the Manhattan co-op and condo market, where prices were up 5 percent compared with a year ago, the Fed said.

美联储宣布的唯一例外是曼哈顿合作社和公寓市场:与去年同期相比,其价格上涨了5 %。

For commercial real estate, there were signs of slowing in the markets for office and retail space in some regions.

商业房地产在一些地区的办公楼和零售店市场有减缓迹象。

On the labor market front, there was some “loosening” or slowing in hiring, the Fed said. The regions of New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Atlanta reported an increased prevalence of layoffs, reduction in workers’ hours or hiring freezes, the Fed said.#p#分页标题#e#

美联储称,劳动力市场在雇用方面有一些“减缓”或减慢。美联储说,纽约、费城、圣路易斯和亚特兰大各地区均报道裁员行动越来越普遍,工人工作时间减少或停止聘用。

The government on Friday releases the employment report for February. Many economists are predicting the unemployment rate climbed to 5 percent from 4.9 percent.

政府于周五发布了2月份就业报告。许多经济学家都预测,失业率从4.9 %攀升至5 %。

The Fed’s survey is based on information supplied by the Fed’s 12 regional banks. The information was collected before Feb. 25.

美联储的调查报告根据由美联储12个地区的银行所提供,相关信息于2月25日之前搜集。

译文:Fed survey: Economic growth has slowed

The economy has weakened since the start ofthis year as shoppers turned even more cautious given the severehousing slump and painful credit crunch.

Manufacturersand other businesses, meanwhile, had to cope with skyrocketing pricesfor energy and other raw materials. The businesses’ ability to passalong higher prices to their customers was mixed, according to theFederal Reserve’s new snapshot of nationwide economic conditionsreleased Wednesday.

Many economists fear that the country is teetering on the edge of a recession or is in one already.

“Economic growth has slowed since thebeginning of the year,” the Fed reported. Two-thirds of the Fed’s 12regions “cited softening or weakening in the pace of business activity,while the others referred to subdued, slow or modest growth,” the Fedsaid.

The reportsuggested that persisting problems in the housing market andharder-to-get credit are affecting the behavior of individuals andbusinesses alike — making them think twice about spending and investing.

The nation’s retail sector is feeling the strain.

“Reports on retail spending were generally downbeat,” the Fed said.

TheFed said that retailers in a majority of regions described sales as“below plan, downbeat, weak or having softened.” Clothing sales, forinstance, were reported as soft in the regions of New York andPhiladelphia and Richmond, Va. Several regions noted declines in salesof “big ticket” goods and home-related items, the Fed said. Auto salesnationwide were characterized as slow or sluggish, the Fed said.

Spendingby consumers accounts for a big chunk of overall economic activity andthus plays a major role in determining whether the economy will survivethe housing and credit crises or fall victim to those problems.

Economicgrowth slowed to a near halt in the final three months of this year,advancing at a pace of just 0.6 percent. Many economists believe growthin the current January-to-March quarter will be worse — a pace ofaround 0.4 percent. Some analysts, however, believe the economy isactually shrinking now.

To help shore up things, the Federal Reservehas been cutting a key interest rate since September. As the economicsituation continued to falter, the Fed turned much more aggressive. Itslashed rates by 1.25 percentage points in the span of just eight daysin January — the biggest one-month rate reduction in a quarter century.

FedChairman Ben Bernanke signaled last week that the central bank standsready to lower rates again at its next meeting, March 18.

Some worry that the country could be headedfor a bout of stagflation — a dangerous mix of stagnant economicactivity and stubborn inflation. But Bernanke, in his congressionalappearance last week, said he didn’t believe that was the case.

TheFed’s report said that companies had to deal with rising energy prices,which translated into increased transportation and shipping costs.Companies also reported price increases for metals, petrochemicals andfood.

However, “firms ability to pass along cost increases by raising selling prices varied,” the Fed said.

The Boston region, for instance, noted thatretailers were passing “some price increases on to customers and somemanufacturers were raising selling prices to partially offset risingcosts.” Half the manufacturers in the Cleveland region had raisedprices or added surcharges since the Fed’s last report in mid-January.The Dallas and Atlanta regions reported some companies raised theirprices but others were constrained by competitive pressures. The KansasCity region said retail prices were “mostly stable.” The Chicago regionsaid businesses — other than construction and retail — were passingalong cost increases to their customers.

Onthe manufacturing front, activity was reported to be sluggish or tohave slowed in about half of the Fed’s regions, the survey said. Someareas continued to cite weak demand for products and equipment used forbuilding and furnishing homes. All Fed regions, however, expressed“caution or concern” about their near-term business prospects, the Fedsaid.

A separatereport from the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed that factoriessaw demand for their products drop sharply in January. New orders formanufactured goods fell 2.5 percent, the biggest decline in fivemonths. Another report from the Institute for Supply Management showedthat activity in the nation’s service sector shrank in February for thesecond straight month.

The Fed’s report, meanwhile, continued to paint a bleak picture of housing.

Most areas continued to suffer sagging home sales and home prices.

The one exception: the Manhattan co-op and condo market, where prices were up 5 percent compared with a year ago, the Fed said.

For commercial real estate, there were signs of slowing in the markets for office and retail space in some regions.

On the labor market front, there was some“loosening” or slowing in hiring, the Fed said. The regions of NewYork, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Atlanta reported an increasedprevalence of layoffs, reduction in workers’ hours or hiring freezes,the Fed said.

Thegovernment on Friday releases the employment report for February. Manyeconomists are predicting the unemployment rate climbed to 5 percentfrom 4.9 percent.

The Fed’s survey is based on information supplied by the Fed’s 12 regional banks. The information was collected before Feb. 25.

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