Joel Naroff: Fed Members 'Seem to Be Fighting Each Other' Over Tapering

Thursday, 22 Aug 2013 01:21 PM

By Glenn J. Kalinoski and David Nelson

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Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors and a member of Newsmax's Financial Braintrust Alliance (FBA), said Federal Reserve policy makers seem to be "concerned about growing inflation and want to taper as soon as possible" but are "fighting each other"  over future strategy.

He cited an overall "lack of communication" from the Fed while discussing the central bank's plans for its program of quantitative easing.

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"When they first announced that they could start tapering or easing back later this year, nobody knew what 'later this year' meant," he told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.

Watch our exclusive video. Story continues below.



Editor's Note: Know the story behind the numbers: Forecaster Joel Naroff provides timely, expert analysis of key economic data for Financial Braintrust Alliance members.Visit www.fbtalliance.com for more information and to sign up.

"Essentially, analysts got together and they decided 'later this year' meant September. I don't know why. I had assumed when I read that that it would probably be November or December because that was the timeframe that made sense given fiscal policy and economic growth."

Naroff added that the markets have pushed the Fed in a way that they really didn't want to get pushed, "but they haven't pushed back."

"What we're getting is a group of people at the Fed who are concerned about growing inflation and want to taper as soon as possible, and then you have a group of people who are worried about the economy and the fact that inflation's too low and they seem to be fighting each other at this particular point," he said.

"And given that we know [Fed Chairman Ben S.] Bernanke will be replaced relatively soon, the lack of communications and guidance we are getting is almost logical at this point. It's not clear what they should do and that's part of the problem."

Elsewhere, the increase in weekly jobless claims isn’t a concern for Naroff. "The data really bounce around like crazy," Naroff said

"If you smooth it out, the four-week … average was the same that we had in November 2007 before we got to the peak of the last expansion."

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week after reaching the lowest level in 5 ½ years, the Associated Press reported. But the broader trend suggests companies are laying off fewer workers and could boost hiring in the months ahead.

The Labor Department said applications for first-time benefits rose 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 336,000 in the week ending Aug. 17. That's up from 323,000 in the prior week, which was the lowest since January 2008.

The four-week average, which smooths out weekly fluctuations, fell by 2,250 to 330,500. That's the sixth straight drop and the lowest for the average since November 2007.

"When we're looking at something below 350, when we're looking at the 330 range, which the average is at, we're looking at job growth that should be pretty decent," he said. "I'm looking at an August employment report that could be a lot better than most people think right now."

Editor's Note: Know the story behind the numbers: Forecaster Joel Naroff provides timely, expert analysis of key economic data for Financial Braintrust Alliance members.Visit www.fbtalliance.com for more information and to sign up.

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