Was May's better-than-expected jobs report strong enough to convince the Federal Reserve to start interest rate liftoff in September?
Based on the market's reaction on Friday, the answer sure looks like yes. Yields on long-term U.S. Treasury bonds spiked to their highest levels since last October, and stocks were mostly lower.
But let's not carried away with one number and one report. Certainly the data-paralyzed Fed won't. If we get three solid months of positive economic statistics, then I’ll think there's a chance – albeit a slim one – the Fed will make a move in September. Until then, we'll have to wait and see.
Notice I've already written off next week's Fed meeting as the first interest rate increase. While the minutes of the Fed's April 28-29 monetary policy meeting "did not rule out" the possibility of raising rates at the June meeting, it was "unlikely" that economic data would justify doing so by then. Nothing's happened in the meantime to change that. Continue reading "Jobs Report Not Enough to Signal September Liftoff"