The head of the New York Federal Reserve opened his speech at the Economic Club of New York with one caveat: He was not going to address the “normalization” of interest rates.

Specifically, Dudley is referring to the Zero Interest Rate Policy that governs the cost financial institutions must pay to borrow money from the Federal Government.

Dudley sits on the Federal Open Market Committee, which regularly meets to discuss moving away from ZIRP and the economic conditions necessary to do so without major upheavals in the financial markets.

His vote, therefore, either ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ carries much weight.

“Let me just say that my view will depend on how incoming data, broadly defined, influences my assessment of the prospects for further improvement in the U.S. labor market and my confidence that inflation will return to the FOMC’s 2% objective over the medium term,” he said.

One sparkling item in the data is the recent performance of the nation’s housing sector, which Dudley declared is solid.

“Household balance sheets do not appear over-extended,” Dudley added. “The household debt service burden is low, the household saving rate is not low relative to household net worth, and household credit growth has been slow.”

Here is the summary of his remarks on housing, read the full speech by clicking here:

“Housing fundamentals are solid as well.  Decent payroll gains have supported household formation over the past year and mortgage rates remain low. Housing prices are rising and the constraint on growth in residential investment now appears to be more on the supply side, as building contractors struggle to mobilize the resources needed to construct more homes. The National Association of Home Builders’ index rose in October to the highest level since late 2005. While the housing indicators will likely continue to be volatile on a month-to-month basis, I expect the gradual improvement in the housing sector to continue.” 

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