We’re calling it a ‘slowcession.’Economist Mark Zandi on the current economy as the latest jobs report shows a cooling labor market.
Why It Matters: The U.S. economy created more than 220,000 jobs in December, capping off a year of strong job growth (4.5 million). The report showed *some* slowing of hourly wages, something the Fed (and others) want to see as a potential sign of cooling inflation. The perception that this report shows inflation could be cooling helped spark a rally in the stock market.
However, economists & analysts have mixed feelings about what the job report shows:
“It was about as perfect a report as one could ask for. I don’t think there were any blemishes at all in the report. It shows a job market that is slowly but surely cooling off. This is consistent with the Fed threading the needle of slowing growth sufficiently to slow inflation but not pushing the economy into recession. We’re calling it a ‘slowcession.’” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics
“There’s something in this report for everyone, but to look at this and say ‘soft landing,’ I don’t agree. The unemployment rate is falling and payroll growth is at 223,000. The Fed wants it below 100,000, probably more like 80,000.” Michael Gapen, chief U.S. economist at Bank of America
by Jenna Lee,