Business Briefs – April 12, 2018

Fed in March Discussed ‘Slightly Steeper’ Future Rate Hikes

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve officials at their March meeting, the first under new Chairman Jerome Powell, decided to stick with a gradual approach to rate hikes. But officials also discussed the possibility that the future course of rate hikes might need to accelerate to a “slightly steeper” path.

Mulvaney Insists Consumer Watchdog Is Still Doing Its Job

WASHINGTON (AP) – Mick Mulvaney tried Wednesday to reassure Democrats on a House finance panel that he’s committed to punishing unscrupulous financial companies, while agreeing with Republicans that the watchdog agency he runs needs to be reined in and refocused. Mulvaney will appear before a Senate finance panel Thursday where he will face his biggest critic, Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

U.S. Budget Deficit Rose 18.4 Percent in March

WASHINGTON (AP) – The federal government recorded a budget deficit of $208.7 billion in March. This was an increase of more than $32 billion from a year ago. Higher benefit expenditures as well as President Donald Trump’s tax cuts drove the shortfall last month.