Mt. Vernon Register-News


June 8, 2013

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Other analysts who have predicted that the Fed would start trimming its bond purchases later this year said they didn’t think Friday’s jobs report would change that timetable.

The Fed has been buying bonds to keep loan rates near record lows to encourage consumers and companies to buy and spend. Other central banks, notably the Bank of Japan, have also been acting aggressively to keep borrowing costs low to try to rejuvenate economic growth.

Low rates make investments that pay interest unattractive. As result, many investors have bought stocks instead. Money pouring into stocks drove the Dow to a record high last month. Stocks have since slipped from their peaks but are still up more than 20 percent since November.

The economy grew at a solid annual rate of 2.4 percent in the first three months of the year. Consumer spending rose at the fastest pace in more than two years. But economists worry that the federal spending cuts and higher Social Security taxes, which started Jan. 1, might be slowing growth in the April-June quarter to an annual rate of 2 percent or less.

Jeff Platts, CEO of Sky Zone, a Los Angeles-based company that runs indoor trampoline parks, said consumers appear more willing to spend than they did a couple of years ago. He’s more confident about expanding and hiring.

Sky Zone plans to add 18 locations this year to its 38 existing sites. That will create about 70 full-time and more than 1,000 part-time jobs.

“In most markets we’re in, parents are back to spending on their kids,” Platts said.

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