Monday, October 09, 2017

Duy: "On Track For a December Rate Hike"

by Bill McBride on 10/09/2017 05:30:00 PM

From Tim Duy at Fed Watch: On Track For a December Rate Hike

The headline figure on nonfarm payrolls report came in well below already withered expectations, but the disappointment was more than compensated for in the details of both the establishment and household survey. The Fed is looking for data that allows them to overlook the weak inflation data. This was just that sort of data.
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An unemployment rate at 4.2% will rattle Fed officials already worried about pushing too far below full employment under the current projections. This will go a long way toward offsetting their nagging worries about low inflation.
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The data calendar is a bit slower this week. Look for the JOLTS report (Wednesday), inflation indicator reports PPI (Thursday) and CPI (Friday), and readings on the demand side of the economy from retail sales and business inventories (both on Friday).

In addition, we have plenty of Fed speakers, including regional Presidents Kashkari (Tuesday), Evans (Wednesday), Bostic (Thursday), and Rosengren and Kaplan (Friday). I don’t think we will see anything new from these speakers regarding monetary policy. Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell speaks Thursday (keynote address on emerging markets) and Friday (“Are Rules Made to be Broken? Discretion and Monetary Policy,” an event for which I foolishly forgot to make an effort to attend). Neither speech will likely give direct policy guidance, but with Powell rumored to be a contender for the top spot at the Fed, they will offer additional opportunity to explore his thinking.

Bottom Line: December rate hike still a go; low unemployment outweighs low inflation for now. That will change next year if job growth slows further and unemployment stabilizes.