The bottom line is it is a very solid report, but with continued inflationary pressure building up, it will make it easy for the Fed to conclude (Tuesday's meeting) with a quarter-point increase.
I think the Fed will look at the core number and determine that it was understated, and still raise rates by a quarter-percentage point at the meeting on November 1.
(Tuesday) won't be the last. This is not the sort of cheap and easy (money) period of the past several years.
People drew some comfort in the smaller-than-expected core index, but I think the core is a bit deceptive.
If you take into account the revisions, the average for the last three months are still very strong. It's consistent with the housing starts number. People are still active in home buying. This decline in January is probably a month dip. It's a head-fake.
We've heard some disappointing reports about the final couple of weeks before the holidays, so we won't see as big of an increase in December, ... but when you combine November and December, this is about the best holiday season we've seen since 1999.
When the economy is growing faster and businesses want to replenish inventories and make the kind of capital expenditures, mergers and acquisitions that outstrip their internal financing, then they will turn to banks.
I thought it was a very favorable number for both Wall Street and Main Street, particularly paired with the upward revisions to the previous two months.
It was a good report right through. As you look through the report there is a noticeable absence of inflation on a broad basis. The numbers, if anything, are steady to lower on inflation and show that it just isn't at all a problem for the economy or the Fed.