Two key reports this week could force the Fed's hand

Two economic reports due out at the end of this week may help the Federal Reserve determine whether or not to raise its interest rate target in December.

Real gross domestic product for the second quarter is set for release Thursday shortly before the opening bell, and the monthly personal consumption expenditure index reading ("PCE"), widely considered the central bank's preferred inflation measure, is due out Friday morning.

"Growth and inflation are the two key factors as to whether the Fed really comes through on this promise to raise rates in December," Boris Schlossberg, managing director of foreign exchange strategy at BK Asset Management, said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

The final revision to second-quarter GDP is expected to reflect 3 percent growth quarter over quarter, according to FactSet estimate data. A reading over that 3 percent consensus estimate would give the Fed confidence that the economy is robust enough to sustain a December rate hike, Schlossberg said Wednesday.

Economists are largely looking for a relatively low reading for PCE. Per FactSet estimates, the consensus estimate is 0.10 percent growth month over month.

"Inflation has been a confounding factor for the Fed," Schlossberg said, adding that Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Tuesday puzzled over the persistence of low inflation.

If the print is better than expected, "the worst of the deflationary factors have been washed out of the economy, and that we are now starting to pick up steam as far as prices go," he said, which would in turn boost the Fed's confidence in the economy, as well as offer a boost to Treasury bond yields and the U.S. dollar's relative value.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer. She is co-anchor of the 10AM ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET), broadcast from Post 9 at the New York Stock Exchange.

In March 2018, Eisen was named co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

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