From Binyamin Appelbaum at the NY Times: Fed Officials Reinforce Rate Outlook, but Seek Flexibility
The minutes showed that the central bank was continuing to play for time as it sought greater clarity about the health of the economy. Job growth has been relatively strong this year, and the unemployment rate is fast falling toward what the Fed regards as a normal level. But inflation has been relatively weak, a problem in its own right, and there is strong evidence the labor market may be weaker than it seems.
Economic data since the meeting has accentuated both trends. The economy added 248,000 jobs in September, while inflation was again weaker than expected. The growth of other large economies is also lagging behind the United States, and some of those countries are pushing to devalue their currencies.
Fed officials at the meeting expressed concerns that these trends could weaken domestic growth and further suppress inflation. The Fed’s staff reported that it did not expect inflation to reach the Fed’s preferred 2 percent annual pace over the next several years.
• Early: Trulia Price Rent Monitors for September. This is the index from Trulia that uses asking house prices adjusted both for the mix of homes listed for sale and for seasonal factors.
• At 8:30 AM ET, the initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for claims to increase to 293 thousand from 287 thousand.
• At 10:00 AM, Monthly Wholesale Trade: Sales and Inventories for August. The consensus is for a 0.3% increase in inventories