Archive: May, 2013
INDICATOR: First Quarter Productivity/Jobless Claims/Layoff Notices
KEY DATA: Productivity: +0.7%; Labor Costs: +0.5%/Jobless Claims: 324,000 (down 16,000)/Layoffs: down 23%
IN A NUTSHELL: "The labor market data seem to be better than expected and that holds out hope that tomorrow's employment report could surprise on the upside."
In a Nutshell: "Nothing says it better than the Fed itself: Household spending and business fixed investment advanced, and the housing sector has strengthened further, but fiscal policy is restraining economic growth."
Rate Decision: Fed funds rate maintained at a range between 0% and 0.25%
I mentioned that the Fed's two-day meeting would end with a reaffirmation of its willingness to keep rates low as long as necessary and that is precisely what happened. But there were a couple of comments in the statement that will open eyes. First, in the description of economic conditions, the Committee noted that the private economy is pushing ahead but it is the government that is putting roadblocks in the way. That was as clear a shot at Congress as I have seen the Fed take.
KEY DATA: ISM (Manufacturing): down 0.6 point; Orders: up 1.9 points; Employment: down 4 points/ADP: up 119,000
IN A NUTSHELL: "Washington may not be able to stop the economic train in its track but it appears to be doing a good job slowing it down."