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The Observer: "America stems the flow of funds – just as China stalls and the eurozone risks going backwards"

"Janet Yellen of the Fed is winding down its quantitative easing programme, but might she soon have to wind it up again?"

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"There is growing unease as the US central bank prepares to turn off its printing presses. Over five years the Federal Reserve has pumped almost $4.5 trillion into the US economy, in a desperate effort to counter the effects of recession and the collapse of hundreds of banks following the financial crash.

"... the Fed’s next move could be crucial. Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen appears ready to maintain the $4.5tn cache of bonds and mortgage-backed securities that make up the bulk of the Fed’s balance sheet. As the bonds mature, she will buy new ones to keep the balance steady. But she may be edging away from raising interest rates from 0.25%, a move pencilled in by many economists for February.

"There was a time when it appeared that the US and UK would both raise rates in concert, and February was the chosen date. A downturn in the UK’s growth outlook has scuppered that idea. But the US economy may be suffering the same malaise. Manufacturing figures last week showed the sector expanding at a much slower rate than just a few months ago."

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"How giving the lowest-paid a big rise could just solve our productivity puzzle"

"As recoveries go, this one brings rich pickings for politicians. The rest of us may be baffled that the slowest trudge out of recession in history has been followed by the fastest growth of any advanced economy. You may be asking why unemployment has tumbled, yet wages have not risen. And why all that austerity, only for George Osborne to have drifted further from his deficit goals?

"But for MPs gearing up for an election, it is a take-your-pick kind of recovery. One man’s Britain mired in a 'cost-of-living crisis' (Ed Balls) is another's 'employment powerhouse' (Danny Alexander).

It is this discrepancy in the jobs market that is most widely felt and keenly pondered. Employment is rising fast and yet wages are falling once inflation is taken into account.

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