Main markets inched upward last week.
The minutes from the latest Fed meeting detailed expectations are in place for another ¼ point rate increase in December. More details were also released on the Fed’s program to begin reducing their balance sheet. The Fed plans to reduce the balance sheet from $4.5 Trillion, down to $4.2 Trillion (a decrease of just -6.7%) by the end of September 2018. This month, October, they will start the process with a decrease of -$10 Billion (a decrease of just -0.2%). The Fed likes to do things gradually.
Business inventories increased +0.7% in August, meeting consensus expectations.
Retail Sales rebounded in September, increasing at +1.6%. In August, retail sales fell -0.1%.
The Consumer Price Index dropped a touch, falling to +0.5% in September. Year-over-year core inflation is running at +2.2%.
Economic focus of the week: will come on Wednesday afternoon when we get the minutes from the latest Fed meeting in September. Rates were not raised. But the announcement of the Fed beginning to unwind their balance sheet was announced. (I wrote about that announcement three weeks ago.) Will we learn anything new? We’ll find out at 2pm Wednesday afternoon.
Indicator focus: October’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey (Mon); September’s industrial production (Tue); Fed’s latest Beige Book, September’s housing starts (Wed); October’s Philly Fed business outlook (Thu); and September’s existing home sales (Fri).
Please note… there will not be a blog for Mondays 10/23 and 10/30.
Have a great week,
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