Economists appear to be of two minds about the Federal Reserve.
They agree with the Fed that the job market still isn't healthy. Yet the latest Associated Press survey of economists finds that most fear the Fed will wait too long to raise interest rates and thereby risk stoking inflation or creating asset bubbles.
The duality of their views underscores the perils of the Fed's policymaking. Most economists accept that there's still “significant” slack in the job market. By that they mean that millions of people – the unemployed as well as part-time workers and people who have stopped looking for work and aren't counted as unemployed – would likely take jobs or work more hours if they could.
Still, they're concerned that Janet Yellen's Fed won't raise rates soon enough.
“I agree with her diagnosis; I even like what she has in mind,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. “But I'm skeptical that she'll be able to pull it off.”
The AP surveyed three dozen private, corporate and academic economists from Aug. 13 to 19.
NHTSA closes probein Camry brake loss
An eight-month investigation into brake problems with some older Toyota Camry gas-electric hybrids has been closed without a recall.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began the probe in January after getting complaints of malfunctions that reduced power-assisted braking in 2007 and 2008 Camry hybrids. The probe covered about 100,000 cars.
A review of nearly 1,600 complaints and warranty claims found that in most cases, the cars warned drivers, and there wasn't a complete loss of power-assisted braking, the agency said in documents posted on its website Tuesday. Investigators drove the cars and found that they could be stopped with a reasonable increase in pedal pressure.
Fewer than 1 percent of the reports involved a complete brake loss, and that came only after a significant period of time with audible and visual warnings, the safety agency said.
HP issues recall foroverheating cords
WASHINGTON – Hewlett-Packard Co. is recalling about 5.6 million notebook computer AC power cords in this country and another 446,700 in Canada because of possible overheating, which can pose a fire and burn hazard.
HP has received 29 reports of power cords overheating and melting or charring, resulting in two claims of minor burns and 13 claims of minor property damage.
The Hewlett-Packard LS-15 AC power cords were distributed with HP and Compaq notebook and mini notebook computers, and with AC adapter-powered accessories.
The notebook and mini-notebook computers and accessories were sold with the AC power cords at computer and electronics stores, by authorized dealers and online at www.hp.com from September 2010 to June 2012.
Consumers are advised to immediately stop using and unplug the recalled power cords and contact Hewlett-Packard to order a free replacement. For information, call Hewlett-Packard at 877-219-6676 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday or go to www.hp.com and click “Recalls” at the bottom of the page.