Week Ahead: Fed Speeches, Retail Sales

Economic IndicatorsFOXBusiness

A handful of speeches from influential members of the Federal Reserve, December retail sales data and a key inflation report highlight next week’s economic calendar.

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At least five key central bank policy makers are scheduled to make speeches next week and investors will all be parsing their words for clues as to when the Fed might raise interest rates again.

The Fed raised rates for the first time in a decade at their December meeting and will gather again at the end of January. No shift in rates is expected at that January meeting.

According to the minutes from the big December meeting, all the members of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee agreed that the time was right for a rate increase. But differences remain among the member as to the trajectory of rates going forward. Some members believe inflation is heading upward towards the Fed’s 2% target while others believe it may be a long time before inflation reaches that goal.

In any case, all of this is likely to come up during speeches by Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart on Monday; Richmond Fed President Richard Lacker on Tuesday; Chicago Fed President Charles Evans on Wednesday; St. Louis Fed President James Bullard on Thursday; and New York Fed President William Dudley on Friday.

The Producer Price Index, a key gauge of inflation that measures the change in prices charged by major U.S. producers and service providers. The impact is eventually on consumers.

Also due out on Friday January 15 is a report on December retail sales.

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