Friday, June 02, 2006

Weak Employment Report Reduces Likelihood of Rate Hike

Yesterday I wrote that today’s employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) held the key to any June interest rate action from the Federal Reserve. Well, the data were released and they were not good for those betting on higher interest rates (that includes me).

For the release go to:

For a bit of analysis go to:

The BLS data indicated that the economy added 75,000 jobs in May, far below economists’ expectations of 175,000. Moreover, the BLS revised April’s number downward and also reported that workers' wages grew by a scant 0.1 percent in May. All of this suggests that the nation’s economy is slowing down thanks to past Fed rate hikes, and oil prices up by more than 30 percent over the past year.

Based on the new data, I now place the likelihood of a short-term rate increase by the Fed in June at 25 percent. I will update you as new data are released.


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