NEW YORK (3/18/13)--U.S. consumer confidence in March has fallen to its lowest level in more than a year, prompting investors to seek safety in Treasuries, resulting in higher prices and lower yields (Bloomberg.com and MarketWatch.com March 15).
Treasury yields move inversely to prices, MarketWatch explained. Yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dropped three basis points to 2%, the Treasury Department said Friday.
The Thomson/Reuters University of Michigan preliminary sentiment index for March dropped to 71.8--the lowest level since December 2011--from 77.6 in February. The drop was a surprise to economists who had forecast the index to rise to 78 this month, according to a median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg survey.
Automatically triggered across-the-board federal spending cuts may be causing worries about the economy, eroding consumer sentiment, Bloomberg said.
WASHINGTON (3/18/13)--The U.S. Federal Reserve System Friday released its 2012 combined annual financial statements for the Federal Reserve Banks and for the 12 individual Federal Reserve Banks.
The Federal Reserve Banks' 2012 net income before providing remittances to the U.S. Treasury was $90.6 billion. They provided $88.4 billion in remittances to the U.S. Treasury.
The Reserve Banks' net income was primarily derived from $80.5 billion in interest income on securities acquired through open-market operations--U.S. Treasury securities, government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) debt securities, and federal agency and GSE mortgage-backed securities.
Total Reserve Bank assets as of Dec. 31 were $2.9 trillion, which is roughly the same as at the end of 2011.
Loans outstanding under the Term Asset-Backed Securities Lending Facility decreased to $0.6 billion from $9.1 billion in 2012 as a result of principal payments and loan prepayments.
To read the Fed release, use the link.