Ben Bernanke & co. are meeting in three-and-a-half weeks, and if Congress doesn’t get its shit together with enough time for them to digest the shutdown-delayed jobs report, they’ll probably just have to punt on bond-buying until the following FOMC meeting in mid-December, because there’s simply no other way to know what the jobs picture looks like without that report.
The most closely watched piece of economic data isn’t coming out as scheduled Friday and is postponed indefinitely. Other reports are likely to be delayed even after the government opens. That has left the Federal Reserve with limited information as it weighs a decision on its bond-buying program later this month….
One Fed official said a government shutdown that drags on for days or weeks would make the Fed less likely to begin winding down its bond-buying program at its October meeting….
The jobs report scheduled for Friday—covering September—will be released after the shutdown ends, but the Labor Department has not announced a schedule. A spokesman said it would depend on the timing of when lawmakers reach a deal and how quickly staff could be called back to work.
A shutdown lasting more than a few weeks could also cause headaches for the October jobs report, due out Nov. 1, said Keith Hall, a former commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which produces the jobs report. Government analysts are due to start the next survey of households in mid-October, muddying the data due to a delay in data collection.
We’re also going to have to wait a little longer to find out who will be chairing the meeting after the meeting after the December meeting and actually putting a beginning to the end of QE.
Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman in an interview with the Wall Street Journal said he wouldn’t expect the Fed announcement this week.
Mr. Furman declined to say if Mr. Obama had made up his mind on whom to nominate….
“It’s an important decision,” Mr. Furman said when asked why it has taken Mr. Obama so long to announce his pick. “The president took this decision very seriously and there’s somebody who is in the job right now whose term doesn’t expire, you know instantly, and there will be more than enough time for Congress to consider whoever the president chooses to nominate. More than enough time.”
No Jobs Report Complicates Fed’s Thinking [WSJ]
No Fed Pick for at Least Few More Days [WSJ Real Time Economics blog]