The results of August's ISM surveys haven't been doing Fed hawks any favours.
With the Manufacturing Index coming materially below expectations,
today's reading on the services sector fell from 55.5 in July to 51.4
for August. That's the lowest print since the nascent stages of the
recovery in 2010. The breakdown showed a broad-based weakening,
particularly in key areas such as business activity. That said, monthly
moves between 50 & 60 don't always have a strong correlation with
other activity measures and could reflect changes in sentiment.
adds to the chorus of data releases for August that continue to suggest
that the Fed will pass on a September rate hike and will need to wait
until December before having enough evidence to tighten policy.
San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams repeated
Tuesday his call for an increase in the Fed's policy rate sooner rather
than later, amid signs of continued solid momentum in the economy in
line with the central bank's established policy framework.
"In the context of a strong economy with good momentum, it makes
sense to get back to a pace of gradual rate increases, preferably sooner
rather than later," Williams said in prepared speech. "The economy has
climbed back to full strength, and it therefore makes sense to move
monetary policy gradually back to normal."
Williams, who is not a voter this year on the policymaking Federal
Open Market Committee, repeated some of what he said a month earlier
about the need for a near-term rate hike. That was before a somewhat
mixed August jobs report and two weaker-than-expected Institute for
Supply Management surveys set off market speculation that soft data
might put the Fed on hold yet again.
But Williams on Tuesday said the U.S. economy is "at full employment,
and inflation is well within sight of and on track to reach our