Tags: Plosser | job | exit | QE

Philly Fed's Plosser: Job Data Positive; It's Time to Exit QE

Friday, 06 Dec 2013 11:46 AM

By Dan Weil

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The stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data reported Friday are an optimistic sign for the economy, and the Federal Reserve should start exiting its quantitative easing (QE) program, says Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser.

As for the employment data, non-farm payrolls gained 203,000 in November, and the unemployment rate fell to a five-year low of 7 percent.

"We're continuing to make slow progress," Plosser tells CNBC. "I don't get too excited over one month's number, but it is in a good direction."

Editor’s Note:
Obama Donor Banned This Message (Shocking)

Looking back over previous months and quarters, "you've got a pretty stable, positive rate of growth in jobs right now," he notes.

Other economists too took a positive read from the November jobs report.

"The labor market is healing," Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial, tells Bloomberg. "We have seen pretty consistent job growth, and we do expect to see it over 200,000 on a monthly average basis next year. We expect the overall rate of growth to pick up."

Many commentators have been discussing the labor force participation rate, which dropped to a 35-year low of 62.8 percent in October before rebounding marginally to 63 percent last month.

The long-term drop stems largely from workers retiring, and those who retire don't tend to un-retire, Plosser explains.

"I think we're in a period of lower participation rates, and I don't think we should be looking for those rates to rise back up to the levels they were back in the early part of the 2000s," he adds.

"I think it would be a mistake to use participation rates as yet another target in monetary policy."

Plosser expects the economy to expand about 3 percent next year. "It's not booming, but it's a pretty healthy pace of growth," he maintains.

"What happens on a quarter-to-quarter basis is hard to predict, because it's volatile." The government Thursday revised third-quarter GDP growth up to 3.6 percent from 2.8 percent previously.

"We know the big surge up was driven a lot by inventories, and those may not sustain," Plosser argues.

When it comes to the Fed's $85 billion of monthly bond purchases, "I was not fan of this QE program in the first place, and I think that it would be a wise for to us to begin get rid of this program," Plosser proclaims.

"I don't think it's doing very much good for us. I think it has a lot of unintended consequences and risks for the economy down the road."

Given the economy's gradual strengthening, "it's probably time to figure out a way to gracefully exit from this," Plosser says.

"We shouldn't be continuing to provide more and more accommodation at a time the economy is growing at a reasonable pace. We should be looking for ways to withdraw support or at least slow down the increase in accommodation to begin to let the economy stabilize on its own."

Editor’s Note: Obama Donor Banned This Message (Shocking)

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