U.S. Outlook: Job report increases doubts about Fed rate hike path

Scott Anderson
Posted by Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

The August jobs report came in on the weak side, raising concerns that the Fed’s gradual tightening path could become glacial in the year ahead.

Graph showing recent trend in unemployment rate (monthly)What could keep the Fed on hold more than it would like? Core inflation isn’t budging.

For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on Sept. 1.

Key observations:
  • The increase in the U.S. unemployment rate to 4.4% in August is perhaps the most discouraging data point in the release.
  • According the the latest Fed dot-plot, the median FOMC expectation is for one more quarter-point rate hike in December and three more quarter-point moves in 2018 and 2019.
  • The September jobs numbers will not add much clarity, since we expect Hurricane Harvey to reap havoc on the payroll numbers and further cloud the economic outlook.


Click here to read my full report.


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