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FTN Financial Economic Weekly

Retail Sales Dive as Hard Data Return

The Fed is data dependent. But what is a policymaker supposed to do when available data are split and the most valuable data are missing, as has been the case in recent months? Soft data, including consumer and business surveys, suggested a sharp slowdown at the turn of the year, while available hard data, including the employment report, are mixed.1 The government shutdown delayed reports on retail sales, consumption, and business investment, the most definitive series. Thankfully, this week, the first of the delayed reports returned, allowing a better picture to form.

Plus "The Week Ahead," a preview of next week’s potentially market-moving events.

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