(NEW YORK) Is the Federal Reserve considering a pullback in its interest rate hikes? Chairman Jerome Powell ’s recent observations have suggested that while the U.S. economy remains on firm footing it also faces an array of risks, including a slowing global economy and remarks from Fed Officials #AceFinanceDesk reports

#AceFinanceReport – Nov.28: Powell’s comments and similar remarks from other Fed officials have raised hopes in financial markets that the central bank may be close to slowing its rate increases, which have gradually raised borrowing costs for consumers and businesses. Any such slowdown — or pause — in its rate hikes would be welcome news for a stock market that has been battered by fears that the Fed’s continued credit tightening could end the long bull market: On Wednesday, Powell may reveal more about his thinking when he speaks to the Economic Club of New York #AceFinanceDesk reports

In an appearance earlier this month, Powell said he was generally pleased with the state of the economy, citing strong annual economic growth above 3 percent and unemployment at a near five-decade low of 3.7 percent. Those trends, he said, were coinciding with inflation remaining “right on target” at the Fed’s goal of 2 percent annual price increases.

But Powell also noted a number of looming risks, including the slowdown in global growth and the fading economic benefits of the tax cuts and government spending boost that took effect this year as well as the cumulative effect of the Fed’s own rate hikes. Many economists also worry about potential economic damage caused by President Donald Trump’s trade conflicts with China and other nations.

For his part, Trump has sought repeatedly to shift blame for any economic troubles to the Fed and its rate increases. In an interview Tuesday with the Washington Post, the president complained bluntly and at length about Powell, who was Trump’s hand-picked choice to lead the Fed.

“So far, I’m not even a little bit happy with my selection of Jay,” Trump said, using Powell’s nickname. “Not even a little bit. And I’m not blaming anybody, but I’m just telling you I think that the Fed is way off-base with what they’re doing.”

Trump argued that the Fed’s policies were damaging the economy and pointed to the recent stock market declines and General Motors’ announcement Monday that it would cut up to 14,000 workers in North America and put five plants up for possible closure.

“I’m doing deals, and I’m not being accommodated by the Fed,” Trump said. “They’re making a mistake because I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”

After keeping rates at a record low near zero for seven years, the Fed three years ago began gradually raising rates, including three hikes this year. Those increases have raised its benchmark rate to a still-historically-low range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent.

Higher interest rates tend to slow economic growth over time as well as pressure stock prices. For those reasons, this year’s hikes have made the Fed the target of unusual public attacks from Trump — criticism that has accelerated with the past month’s sharp declines in the stock market. Trump has complained that the Fed is threatening to undo the economic stimulus being provided by the tax cuts and that its rate hikes are unnecessary because inflation has remained relatively low.

In its most recent projections, the Fed forecast that it would raise rates in December for the fourth time this year, followed by three more hikes in 2019.

Analysts think a rate hike next month is all but certain, possibly in part because they think the Fed doesn’t want to appear to be bowing to pressure from Trump. But economists say three rate increases for next year are beginning to look less certain.

“When you see that economic growth is decelerating and financial markets are going through significant turbulence not only in the United States but globally, I think a rate pause would be a good idea,” said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at SS Economics.

“I would not be surprised if they go with one more hike in December and then pause indefinitely to see what happens to the economy,” Sohn said.

Other Fed watchers still expect at least one or two rate increases in 2019 before the central bank pauses to observe how the economy is performing.

In a speech Tuesday, Vice Chairman Richard Clarida suggested that the Fed would continue to strive to be “data dependent” by using the latest readings on the economy “with a healthy dose of judgment and humility” to determine its interest-rate policy.

The Associated Press: @APBusiness: Investors will be listening closely to Powell for any clues to Fed’s future rate hikes. @mcrutsinger reports #AceTweetNews https://t.co/TvQBUPke8J

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(WARSAW, Poland.) Ikea is planning to open smaller stores in major cities around the world as part of a broader transformation to adapt to changing consumer habits: Next year smaller stores are also due to open in Paris and Tokyo #AceFinanceDesk reports

#AceFinanceNews – Nov.28: An airport worker drops by Warsaw’s newest Ikea store during her lunch break to finish up plans for a home refurbishment: Around her, people drift in and out of the shop, placing small houseware items in big yellow bags as cafe tables fill up with people just stopping in for lunch #AceFinanceDesk reports

The store is not one of Ikea’s out-of-the-way, maze-like warehouses that require a car to visit, but a shop like any other in a city center shopping mall: The Swedish retailing giant plans to open 30 such smaller stores in major cities around the world as part of a transformation that is costing the company financially but is needed to adapt to changing consumer habits: Compared with just a decade ago, shoppers are more likely to be living in urban areas and not have a car, and often want a nearby location to look at goods like furniture in person before ordering things online.

“I like the idea because you can come any time,” said 29-year-old Angelika Singh, the airport worker, as she finalized an order for a new kitchen. “Mostly when you go to Ikea you need to have a whole day free, or at least half a day free, because it’s far.”

Warsaw’s store is located on two floors covering nearly 5,000 square meters (54,000 square feet), about one-fourth of a traditional big-box store: Shoppers can buy cushions, curtains and other home items. They can design the layout of bedrooms and kitchens at computer stations. But those hoping to buy a bookcase or bed will not find them stocked in a large warehouse, though they can order them at kiosks and have them delivered to their homes………………..As such, it offers a very different shopping experience from the usual visit to one of the large warehouse stores.

Small stores have also opened in major cities like Madrid and London, which has a small new “planning studio” for kitchen and bedroom projects. Next year smaller stores are also due to open in Paris and Tokyo

“Ikea’s been doing pretty much the same for 70 years. It’s been a cash-and-carry company, and it still is for the majority of its sales,” said Andreas Flygare, the project manager for the Warsaw store: Now, he explained, the company must adapt to a consumer environment that has changed dramatically in the last 10 years.

“You have companies like Amazon and Uber that are raising the bar for what is expected. Because if you can have same-day delivery, or an Uber is two minutes away, it influences other companies, like Ikea,” he said in a recent interview in the store’s cafe. “It can be a quite tough environment. Everything is changing so fast.”

The company, whose founder Ingvar Kamprad died in January, has seen business growth slow in recent years: But updating its business model to reinvigorate sales is not coming cheap. On Wednesday, it reported that its operating profit for the full year through August had dropped 26 percent to 2.25 billion euros ($2.55 billion) as it increased spending on the new stores as well as delivery services and its online offerings.

Thomas Slide, senior retail analyst at the market research firm Mintel, described Ikea’s new approach as a rational response to a “global trend towards urban living and a rebirth of the cities.”………………….“While Ikea used to be able to build its big blue warehouses on the edge of towns and cities and expect shoppers to come to them, now it has recognised it needs to be more flexible in its approach and take the Ikea experience to them, through digital channels and smaller stores closer to where people live and work,” Slide said.

Ikea isn’t the first to embrace such an approach: In the U.S., retailer Target has rolled out smaller stores to broaden its reach. French hardware store Leroy Merlin has done the same, as have Kingfisher-owned DIY store B&Q and sofa retailer DFS in Britain………..“While Ikea may not be on the cutting edge of this trend, it’s an important strategy to prepare the business for the future,” Slide said. “The challenge will be adding extra services through additional channels while also maintaining profitability.”

Chen Yu Ting, a 25-year-old from Taiwan who studies medicine in Warsaw, said it used to take him 40 minutes by bus to visit one of the large Ikea stores outside the city: But he is a short walk to the new store, and after an initial trip to buy pillows and bed sheets he now returns often for lunch, which is priced right for his budget……….“It’s more convenient, and now I just come here to eat,” he said………………His only complaint? The store doesn’t stock frozen meatballs.


Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report: The Associated Press.@APBusiness: Ikea is planning to open smaller stores in major cities around the world as part of a broader transformation to adapt to changing consumer habits. #AceTweetNews https://t.co/MtnmaE3SzN Published: November.28: 2018:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports & #Brittius says are provided by Sterling Publishing & Media News and all our posts, links can be found at here Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ Ace News Services Posts https://t.me/AceSocialNews_Bot and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com or you can follow our breaking news posts on AceBreakingNews.WordPress.Com or become a member on Telegram https://t.me/acebreakingnews all private chat messaging on here https://t.me/sharingandcaring