The Fed meets this week with no expectation of a change in monetary policy.

The FOMC meets this week with continued uncertainty over economic data. Last week saw a wealth of data released, much of which was confusing. For example, retail sales were released for January and were reported as having increased by 0.2%. The sales for December were revised downward from a decline of 1.2% to a drop of 1.6%. This kind of data would normally be taken as a clear signal consumer final demand has slowed. However, the January data included a large drop in auto sales. Excluding autos, retail sales were up 0.9% in January following the 2.1% decline in December.