Economic reports are released it seems almost daily by some government office or from the private sector and can all have some sort of impact on the credit markets to some degree or another. Big reports such as the Unemployment Rate or the real estate investingGDP number can certainly rattle Wall Street more than a benign price index.

 

The Fed takes into account all of the reports with a constant eye on when or if to do anything about raising or lowering the Fed Funds rate or to taper the current QE2 program. But if you were on the Federal Reserve Board, what would some of the recent reports tell you?

The Unemployment Rate fell yet again to 7.2 percent, continuing its gradual pace. Yet at the same time the labor participation rate, the number citizens who can work but quit looking, hit another record high for September topping 90 million Americans who have officially dropped out of the work force.

Durable Goods orders were relatively strong for the previous month, up 3.7 percent. That’s always good news when factories receive new orders for their products. Yet at the same time when you exclude transportation equipment, new orders actually fell 0.1 percent.

And maybe it was the government shutdown that caused consumer sentiment to fall to its lowest level since December of 2012. After all, for just over two weeks we were told that we were going to go over a fiscal cliff, that the U.S. would default on its debt for the first time ever and Congress couldn’t even agree on whether or not the sun would come up.

To say it’s a mixed bag of data is an understatement. So, that said, if you were the Fed Chair, what would you do? You’d probably do exactly what Bernanke is doing now. Nothing. There’s no solid evidence the economy on any sort of a roll whatsoever. It’s just plodding along. Steady, albeit rather weakly, as she goes.