De Desharnais, a homebuilder and real estate agent in Nashua, N.H., stands in front of a house her company is constructing. She says her company had 32 employees at the height of the housing boom, and now only has six despite the industry's gradual recovery. Chris Arnold/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Chris Arnold/NPR
Will A Fed Interest Rate Hike Slow The Housing Recovery?
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/459690556/459789039" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

April Thompson makes a purchase at Legacy Team Sales in Ocala, Fla., in September. Economists say October's surprisingly strong job growth will encourage the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates next month. So holiday shoppers may pay more for using credit cards. Doug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner/Landov hide caption

toggle caption Doug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner/Landov

A police officer keeps watch outside the Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington, D.C., where policymakers weighed whether to boost interest rates. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters/Landov hide caption

toggle caption Kevin Lamarque/Reuters/Landov

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, speaking at a news conference in Washington on Thursday, said the U.S. economy has been performing well but the global outlook is more uncertain. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

toggle caption Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the Senate Banking Committee in July. This week, Yellen and other policymakers are weighing the Fed's first rate increase in nine years. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

toggle caption Susan Walsh/AP

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and other policymakers will meet in Washington, D.C., this week to weigh a possible increase in interest rates. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

toggle caption Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer speaks during a Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System meeting in July. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

toggle caption Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
August Jobless Data To Influence Fed's Decision On Hiking Interest Rates
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/437420034/437443510" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Jobs Numbers Suggest A Healthy Economy — And May Let Fed Nudge Rates Up
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/430221640/430221641" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A Chinese worker is seen at a construction site in Beijing. Economic changes in China and in other places have reduced demand and prices for commodities like the metal in the building's structure. AP hide caption

toggle caption AP

Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said consumers generally haven't been using the savings from lower gasoline prices to spend on other things. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Earlier this year, the European Central Bank, headed by Mario Draghi, launched a bond-buying program to drive down interest rates and boost borrowing. Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images
When Rates Turn Negative, Banks Pay Customers To Borrow
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/399641297/399641316" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Target shoppers Kelly Foley (from left), Debbie Winslow and Ann Rich use a smartphone to look at a competitor's prices while shopping shortly after midnight on Black Friday, in South Portland, Maine. Robert F. Bukaty/AP hide caption

toggle caption Robert F. Bukaty/AP

A New York Stock Exchange trader works on the floor on Dec. 17. Stocks rose nearly 300 points after the Federal Reserve announced it plans to begin raising interest rates next year. Andrew Burton/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Economy Weathers A Bad Winter And Other Storms To Finish 2014 Strong
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/372920102/373128468" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank. Some say he's super. Daniel Reinhardt /DPA/LANDOV hide caption

toggle caption Daniel Reinhardt /DPA/LANDOV