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POLITICS: PennAve

The week ahead in economics: Delayed data, government shutdown watch

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Jobs,Republican Party,Mitch McConnell,Debt Ceiling,PennAve,Joseph Lawler,Economy,Federal Reserve,Budgets and Deficits,Government Shutdown

After “flying blind,” in the words of former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, for three weeks without government economic data, lawmakers and businesses will get a backlog of reports this week, as releases that were delayed by the government shutdown are issued.

Most importantly, the September jobs report that was scheduled for Oct. 4 will instead come out on Tuesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced.

The jobs report is the most widely watched economic indicator. Because of the lapse in government funding, October’s release, along with other data, has also been delayed, from Nov. 1 to Nov. 9.

Analysts expect that the economy added 185,000 jobs in September, before the effects of the government shutdown or the debt ceiling could be felt. That number would be right in line with the trajectory of job growth throughout the tepid labor market recovery that began in 2010. According to economists polled by Bloomberg, the jobless rate is supposed to remain at 7.3 percent.

One development to watch over the week is whether congressional Republicans display an appetite for further high-stakes showdowns over fiscal matters. The deal struck by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to reopen the government and lift the debt ceiling only does so through December and February, respectively, raising the scenario of a repeat of the past few weeks' brinkmanship.

McConnell signaled in interviews last week that Republicans will avoid a sequel to the shutdown, and other Republicans have echoed his comments.

But Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, one of the driving forces behind the GOP's attempt to use the government funding fight to defund Obamacare, has suggested that he is not done seeking confrontation over the health care law, saying Sunday that he “will continue to do anything I can to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare."

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