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Further, the budget deal failed to extend $160 billion of payroll-tax cuts and unemployment benefits scheduled to expire at the end of the year, meaning consumers will have even less disposable income and the economy will face even stiffer head winds come January.

The Federal Reserve also has limited options to further assist the economy after having decided to end an extraordinary easing program in June. The Fed long ago engineered a reduction in short-term interest rates to nearly zero, giving it little further leverage to aid the economy through that traditional tool.