The US Senate has scheduled a vote today, Tuesday, on passing a USD 1 trillion infrastructure bill. The package is among President Joe Biden's top priorities. The bipartisan bill, which has already been debated for a week, will close with a vote at 17:00 CET. The bill is 2,702 pages long, tops Biden's domestic agenda and includes USD 550 billion in transportation and communications infrastructure investments. The big infrastructure bill is popular with many lawmakers from both parties, because it would bring federal money to their home states. Polls also show that Americans, by and large, favor the bill. After the bill is passed, Democrats want to discuss the next infusion of funds right away.
The number of job openings in the US rose more than expected in June to a new record high, according to the recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, JOLTS. This highlights that companies are struggling to hire enough workers as economic activity picks up. The number of available jobs unexpectedly rose to 10.1 million during the month, up from 9.5 million in May. Labor supply is expected to increase in the coming months as supplemental government benefits for the unemployed expire and schools reopen.
Two Federal Reserve officials said Monday that with the US economy growing rapidly and inflation levels accelerating, the stage is set for a rate hike, although the labor market still has room for improvement. According to Raphael Bostic, President of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, they are targeting the fourth quarter for the start of a reduction in bond purchases but are open to an even earlier start. A condition is the continuation of the economic improvement. In addition, he and Richmond Fed President Tom Barkin both believe that inflation has already reached the official 2% threshold. This is one of the two conditions that must be met before interest rate hikes can be considered.
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