The September 4 week begins with the Labor Day observance on Monday. As a federal holiday, stock and bond markets will be closed. The holiday means some US Treasury announcements and auctions will see adjustments to their usual times. Otherwise, it is a light data calendar. There will be plenty of time to mull over the August’s employment report which was released on September 1, and a tense wait for the inflation data in the following week. All eyes will be on the next round of economic data and how it could influence the FOMC decision at the September 19-20 meeting.
The standout during the week is likely to be the Fed’s Beige Book at 14:00 ET on Wednesday. The report will compile anecdotal evidence about conditions across the 12 Fed districts for the period of early through late August. In the Beige Book released on July 12, only 5 districts reported growth and that was modest at best. However, it was an improvement over the prior two reports and hints that there may be tempered upward momentum for economic growth as inflationary pressures ease and labor supply/demand imbalances improve. Fed policymakers – especially those who are not economists – pay attention to the tone of the Beige Book to inform their decisions. It provides a current overall picture of the economy and is a good signal of shifts in activity.
This week will be the last opportunity for Fed policymakers to voice their opinions about the direction of monetary policy. The communications blackout period around the FOMC meeting goes into effect at midnight on Saturday, September 9. It will run through midnight on Thursday, September 21.