January 29, 2019
Tomorrow the Federal Reserve Board releases their decision on rates after their first meeting of 2019. Based upon comments made by members after their increase in December, there is little possibility of another increase in January and only a slightly greater possibility during their next meeting in March. The comments continually talked about concerns that could slow the economy down and we added another concern in the past several weeks — the government shutdown.
On the plus side we had a very strong jobs report for December. Assuming there is no delay because of the shutdown, we have an early release for January on Friday, the first day of February. Because of the shutdown and the fact that job growth topped 300,000 in December, it is not likely we will see a repeat. However, if we do, the probability of another increase in March rises substantially.
Meanwhile, the shutdown went on for longer than anyone expected. This raises the possibility of a weaker economy during the first quarter of 2019. This week we will also see the first reading on economic growth for the fourth quarter of last year. Predictions are for a lower number than the solid growth of 3.4% reported for the third quarter. Hopefully, growth will not decelerate that rapidly going into 2019.
Source: Origination Pro
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