The Shutdown Is Over…or at Least On Hold

Democrats and Republicans reached a temporary deal late last week to end the partial government shutdown and reopen the government through February 15. However, the government may not remain open beyond that: The deal creates a bicameral committee charged with reaching an agreement on border security during that period, and it’s not clear what compromise would be acceptable to all parties. 

There were no public remarks by FOMC participants last week because of the blackout period ahead of this week’s FOMC meeting. Recent FOMC communications suggest that there is a strong consensus for a March pause, and there’s little chance that this week’s FOMC meeting—including the post-meeting statement and  Powell’s press briefing—will call that into question. See our FOMC Briefing for our take on this week’s meeting. 

There was little in the way of incoming data last week, in part because some further releases were postponed because of the partial government shutdown. Now that the government has reopened, BEA and other government agencies responsible for collecting and publishing data are considering how to proceed.  Postponed releases for which the underlying data were already largely collected and compiled will likely be released quite soon. However, the shutdown, the longest ever for the U.S., will have a ripple effect on some future data releases even if the government is funded beyond February 15, since the agencies now have a  backlog of work to make up. The jobs report for January will be released this Friday, as previously scheduled. 

Nowcasts (2018:Q4) 

Source Current One Week Ago Two Weeks Ago
Atlanta Fed GDPNow 2.7% 2.8% 2.8%
New York Fed Staff Nowcast 2.6% 2.6% 2.5%
CNBC/Moody’s Survey 2.9% 2.9% 2.9%

Recent Data 

Release Period Actual Consensus Revision to  Previous ReleasePreviously  Released Figure
Existing Home Sales MoM Dec -6.4% -1.5% 2.1% 1.9%
Leading Index MoM Dec -0.1% -0.1% — 0.2%

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