The change from 'likely' to 'may be' takes away any strong signal they'll be raising rates.
It's definitely a labor market that's generating enough jobs to bring down the unemployment rate over time. That process was interrupted by the hurricanes and appears to be resuming.
The strength across all labor-market indicators does suggest the Fed will likely raise rates in March.
The economy is continuing to run at a strong pace in the third quarter. The underlying trend in durable goods orders is positive and the housing market continues to run strong.
Any way you slice it, the report suggests homebuilding is holding up quite well, and it will continue to be strong until we see a significant rise in mortgage rates. There's no evidence that a peak has been reached in the housing market.
They highlighted the long-term rise and not the recent decline. Their concern about core inflation's potential to increase has not been eased by the recent decline in energy prices.
Labor market weakness isn't spreading from the hurricane- affected areas to other areas of the country. We are starting to see hurricane-related claims drop off, and more important for the economic outlook, jobless claims excluding the hurricane effects remain low.
The consumer was in fairly good shape before Hurricane Katrina. Sales were strong virtually across the board.
Consumers are benefiting from the decline in retail gasoline prices and that should continue going forward. The job market does seem to be improving, or at least getting back into a more normal pace after the hurricanes.