The March 12-16 week will determine how workers spent their higher wages and by how much the costs of goods and services changed in February. Our key indicator picks are the Consumer Price Index on Tuesday and Retail Sales on Wednesday. We also get March results from purchasing manager surveys conducted by the New York and Philadelphia Federal Reserve Banks.
The FOMC communication blackout will have begun on March 10, so no Fed officials are scheduled to speak publicly all week. Recent speeches suggest the median of FOMC participants’ assessment of the appropriate pace of policy firming (the dots) will coalesce around 2.125% (three hikes) for 2018, though the projection materials released with the March 21 FOMC statement will likely show the median dot for 2019 has moved up toward 3.125%.