Yellen Patience on Timing of Next Hike Justified by Jobs Report

Tue, February 07, 2017


January’s U.S. employment report gives the chair plenty of room to defer while policy makers wait for evidence of how new measures from the Trump administration are affecting the economy. That’s the message she’ll probably convey during congressional testimony on Feb. 14-15.

...Some indicators of labor-market slack also increased, which should push away inflation concerns. The underemployment rate, which includes people stuck in part-time work who want a full-time job, rose to a three-month high of 9.4 percent.

“We are clearly not generating much wage pressure,” said Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey. “This report didn’t challenge the call for three rate increases in any way. However, it did not create any urgency for March either.”