Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Jobs Report: Truth or Consequences?

-Ron Paul, Facebook
The jobs report that came out on Friday was heralded by the pundits as “surprisingly robust.” The “payroll data was fabulous.” The 336,000 new jobs reported was said to be the best in 17 years. Along with this, wages were reported to have increased by .5%, the best since 2008 – a rather ominous year. The euphoria felt by many signaled the end of the recession. Of course the recession was supposed to have been over several years ago – except for the millions who still do not have jobs. Along with the jobs report we heard that price inflation was .7%. Wages up, more jobs, low prices – Nirvana has arrived! Some have said that 2015 will be the year of the consumer for average Americans.

However the excitement of the jobs report did not lead to an increase in stock prices or bond prices. Bond prices especially were sharply down as interest rates rose anticipating that the Fed is now more likely to raise interest rates in June. We’ll see!

It’s easy to forget the recent reports that GDP was down to 2.6% in the last quarter from 4.8% from the earlier part of 2014. The fact that the stocks went down and interest rates went up is an indication that it will not be an easy decision for the Fed to raise interest rates. My argument has been that the Fed will not be in a position to raise interest rates in June.