Fed: Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee, October 29-30, 2013

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on November 20, 2013

“In general, the data available at the time of the October 29-30 meeting suggested that economic activity continued to rise at a moderate pace; the set of information reviewed for this meeting, however, was reduced somewhat by delays in selected statistical releases associated with the partial shutdown of the federal government earlier in the month. In the labor market, total payroll employment increased further in September, but the unemployment rate was still high. Consumer price inflation continued to be modest, and measures of longer-run inflation expectations remained stable. Private nonfarm employment rose in September but at a slower pace than in the previous month, while total government employment increased at a solid rate. The unemployment rate edged down to 7.2 percent in September; both the labor force participation rate and the employment-to-population ratio were unchanged. Other recent indicators of labor market activity were mixed. Measures of firms’ hiring plans improved, the rate of job openings increased slightly, and the rate of long-duration unemployment declined a little. However, household expectations of the labor market situation deteriorated somewhat, the rate of gross private-sector hiring remained flat, and the share of workers employed part time for economic reasons was essentially unchanged and continued to be elevated. In addition, initial claims for unemployment insurance rose in the first few weeks of October, likely reflecting, in part, some spillover effects from the government shutdown.”

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