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Round three results of quantitative easing

Big Data Download

We’re in the third round of quantitative easing—the Federal Reserve’s grand plan to lower interest rates and increase economic growth. Whether it has worked is debatable.

Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Sterne Agee, told Big Data Download that if we take the simplistic view and compare where we are today to where we were at the end of 2008, the answer is yes.

The unemployment rate has fallen, but headline payment growth is lackluster, and millions of people are leaving the labor market because jobs are hard to find, she said.

Historically low interest rates have allowed millions of people to lower their mortgage payments, thereby increasing disposable income and helping to drive consumer spending. Part of that is a result of quantitative easing, Piegza said.

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But capital spending in the manufacturing sector can be attributed to rising labor costs overseas and global market weakness rather than QE, she added.

In general, Piegza said, though the Fed’s monetary easing led to a bull market in stocks, its effect on yields has been less clear.

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