U.S. Outlook: Two steps forward, one step back

Posted By Scott Anderson In Economic Outlook | No Comments

The chorus of calls from Fed officials that a rate hike is coming soon got a lot louder this week.

Graph showing recent dip in jobless claims [1]What is prompting this newfound urgency to hike interest rates again?

For more on these developments, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on March 3.

Key observations:
  • The consistent and urgent messaging by FOMC voting members points pretty strongly toward a March rate increase.
  • The labor market has tightened faster than many doves thought likely just a few months ago.
  • Initial jobless claims dropped to an ultra-low 223K last week, near a 44-year low!
  • Given recent comments from Fed officials, I put the probability of a March rate hike at around 70% today.

(Editor’s note: An earlier version of the full report contained a misspelling of the name of John Williams, San Francisco Fed president. We regret the error.)

Click here to read my full report [2].

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URL to article: https://changematters.bankofthewest.com/2017/03/03/u-s-outlook-two-steps-forward-one-step-back/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.bankofthewest.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/graph_joblesscliams_030217.jpg

[2] Click here to read my full report: http://blog.bankofthewest.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/BankoftheWest_USOutlook_v2_3_3_17.pdf

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