Text of the Feds statement after its meeting Wednesday

WASHINGTON — Below is the statement the Fed released Wednesday after its policy meeting ended:Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that the labour market remains strong and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate. Job gains have been solid, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low. Although growth of household spending has picked up from earlier in the year, growth of business fixed investment has been soft. On a 12-month basis, overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy are running below 2 per cent. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed.Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. In light of the implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures, the Committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 2 to 2-1/4 per cent.This action supports the Committee’s view that sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labour market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 per cent objective are the most likely outcomes, but uncertainties about this outlook remain. As the Committee contemplates the future path of the target range for the federal funds rate, it will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion, with a strong labour market and inflation near its symmetric 2 per cent objective.In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its maximum employment objective and its symmetric 2 per cent inflation objective. This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labour market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.The Committee will conclude the reduction of its aggregate securities holdings in the System Open Market Account in August, two months earlier than previously indicated.Voting for the monetary policy action were Jerome H. Powell, Chair; John C. Williams, Vice Chair; Michelle W. Bowman; Lael Brainard; James Bullard; Richard H. Clarida; Charles L. Evans; and Randal K. Quarles. Voting against the action were Esther L. George and Eric S. Rosengren, who preferred at this meeting to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 per cent.The Associated Press read more

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Google unveils a new version of its popular Maps app iPad finally

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Google unveils a new version of its popular Maps app; iPad finally gets an app by Michael Oliveira, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 10, 2013 9:28 am MDT TORONTO – Google is unveiling a new version of its popular Maps app, available now for Android phones and tablets and “coming soon” to iPhones and iPads. It’ll be the first time iPad users get a dedicated Google Maps app.The app’s design has been significantly streamlined to declutter the screen and get rid of a series of menus that confused some users, said Daniel Graf, senior product manager of Google Maps.“It was ‘interesting,’” Graf said diplomatically in describing how he assessed the previous interface, which had become bloated and overly complicated after years of incremental updates.“You know what it was, it was seven years of (development), it started very simple and you add one option after another and that’s how you end up (with a cluttered interface),” he said.“And now we just basically started over from scratch.”Some iPhone users have already tried the new interface, which was released to that device a few months ago. But they will still want to download the update to access some new features.For navigation, the app can now automatically reroute around accidents, traffic jams and other issues that suddenly emerge.Users can also save map data to their device for use without a data connection, which is particularly handy while travelling.Typing “ok maps” in the search bar will save the map area on the device’s screen to be used later. Saving offline maps was already available to Android users but is new to the iPhone.Another new feature Google is hyping — but not yet available for Canadian cities — is called Explore, which encourages users to find new places to discover in their area.“Now we want to help people make choices (if they’re thinking) ‘I don’t really know where I’m going tonight,’” said Graf.A slick interface helps users browse through categories of nearby restaurants and bars, stores, and hotels. Embedded within the app is review data from Zagat and other users to help narrow down a decision.While the new interface without all the familiar menus may be a little difficult to navigate at first, Graf said the app uses pop-up prompts to get users acclimated to the changes.“The first time you use it it actually tells you, ‘Hey, you can swipe down here to see the different results,’” he said.“We actually see more and more apps going (down) that path that once you know (the interface) it’s super simple, but if you don’t know you’re screwed. So it’s very important that you educate the user. And I’m leaning towards (implementing) these simple user interfaces and educating the user (rather) than (using) menu options, I totally believe in that.”———Google blog post on new Maps app: http://bit.ly/12DCDLu read more

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