Market Insider

Data will be the key as Fed meeting starts

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As the Federal Reserve begins its two-day policy meeting Tuesday, markets will get a look at how consumers behaved just before the government shut down.

Economists expect September's retail sales to be up 0.1 percent, when the numbers are released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The report is one of many that were delayed when the government shut down for 16 days starting Oct. 1.

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"We know car sales fell a lot in September, so retail sales could be slightly negative," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi. "If the consumer is two-thirds of the economy and if they're not looking too well, (Fed officials) are not going to be rushing to taper."