MT Insider: US Economics Calendar, FOMC Minutes at 2PM ET Today

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Due to the ongoing U.S. government shutdown, the monthly payrolls report, factory orders, and construction spending were not released as scheduled last week. Alternative release dates have not been set.

Also on hold are scheduled economic reports this week on the U.S. trade balance, Job Openings and Labor Survey (JOLTS), wholesale inventories, the import price index, the monthly budget statement, Producer Price Index (PPI), retail sales or business inventories.

Despite the news blackout from most government agencies, there's still plenty of reports available, including today's 2 p.m. ET release of minutes from the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting three weeks ago. Also on tap this week are private reports on consumer credit, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) small business optimism index, weekly jobless claims, and the University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment.

Separately, the schedule of Federal Reserve speakers will also be unaffected.

10:00AM Chicago Fed President Evans (FOMC voter) spoke

President Evans has been a strong supporter of accommodative monetary policy in the past. He recently stated that in his opinion asset purchases have been effective, but that forward guidance will be the primary policy tool in the future. He estimated that the ultimate size of QE3 might reach $1.25 trillion, smaller than the roughly $1.5 trillion we expect.

02:00PM Minutes from September 17-18 FOMC meeting

The minutes from the September FOMC meeting will be particularly interesting, given the Committee's unexpected decision not to taper asset purchases.

Subsequent to the meeting, participants described the decision as a close call. Investors will be particularly attentive to any discussion of what criteria the Committee will use to determine when it would be appropriate to reduce the rate of purchases, and whether the previous guidance that purchases might be completed in mid-2014 remains appropriate.

In addition, discussion of how the forward guidance might be enhanced in the future, which was alluded to by Chairman Bernanke in the post-FOMC press conference, will be of great interest.

Finally, look for any further details on the thinking behind the new fixed-rate full-allotment reverse repo facility.

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