The Economy

The Economy – January 4, 2022

from  The Wall Street Journal

What the Wall Street Journal Is Watching

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 Federal Reserve officials are beginning to map out how and when they could shrink their $8.76 trillion portfolio of Treasury and mortgage securities, which more than doubled amid efforts to stabilize the economy over the past two years, Nick Timiraos reports.At their policy meeting last month, officials agreed to wind down their bond-purchase stimulus program more quickly amid growing concerns about high inflation, setting it on track to end in March.Officials began discussing at that meeting what should happen to the bondholdings after that point, and some are pushing to start shrinking them sooner and faster than they did after an earlier asset-purchase program. 
 U.S. job openings are on track to have ended last year at a record in a strong labor market where the gap between available positions and workers continues to widen, Bryan Mena reports. The gap between employers’ hiring needs and available workers started hitting records last spring and persisted through the end of the year. 
 Companies are budgeting for employee-pay raises in the new year. Employers are setting aside an average 3.9% of total payroll for wage increases in 2022, the largest increase since 2008, according to a new report from the Conference Board. 

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