October 2, 2018
The end of the quarter is especially busy when the Federal Reserve Board schedules its meeting at the same time. We are just days past the Fed announcement to raise short-term rates by 1/4 of one percent and a confirmation of strong economic growth for the second quarter. In addition, at the end this week we get a reading of the employment numbers for September. All that news should keep the market analysts very busy. Not that the Fed announcement was a surprise to anyone.
What the analysts were looking for is a hint as to whether we might get another increase by the Fed this year. The Fed’s announcement accompanying their rate increase was anything but clear with regard to the pace of future rate increases. They continue to use the word “gradual,” but as members of the Fed have said several times, things could accelerate if there are signs of rising inflation or imbalances in the financial markets. Of course, things could slow down if other factors come into play.
The next three jobs reports, starting with the end of this week, will go a long way to provide evidence to the Fed. They will be looking at more than the unemployment rate and jobs created. They also will be looking at the labor participation rate and any signs of wage inflation. But the employment numbers are only part of the picture. The strength of the markets will also be a factor. If we have a strong stock market in the fourth quarter, this could help tip the scales toward another increase.
Source: Origination Pro
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