Last week’s employment report revealed that 311,000 jobs were created in February—mainly in the service sector. That is far below the 517,000 jobs created in January, but above what the consensus was expecting. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate went up from 3.4% to 3.6%. Taken together, this was a reasonably strong jobs report, but with some signs of cooling. This week, importantly, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation data for February will be released. The consensus expects headline inflation to drop to 6.0% (down from 6.4% the month prior). With solid job growth and inflation still far above the Federal Reserve’s 2% inflation target, the central bank will likely continue to raise interest rates for longer. In other words, the no landing scenario continues.
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