WASHINGTON -- A fresh set of government statistical report issued yesterday shows the U.S. economy is at a virtual standstill with only a hint of inflation, fueling bond market expectations that the Federal Reserve will have to ease monetary policy once again.

"This economy is flat. It's not moving right now," said C. Douglas Lee, chief economist for County NatWest USA. "We're not seeing any inflation, and all the data are consistent with a pretty stagnant picture," he said.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.