While the week’s biggest news has taken place in Russia, Ukraine and China, it’s the news out of the Federal Reserve Board’s Federal Open Market Committee that’s most in need of translation.
The Fed regularly uses language that no one understands, because if America’s taxpayers really knew what’s been happening, they’d totally freak. Keep that in mind and proceed with caution as we attempt a translation of Fedspeak from new Chair Janet Yellen’s first press conference:
“ … the FOMC’s outlook for continued progress toward our goals of maximum employment and inflation returning to two percent remains broadly unchanged.”
“Unusually harsh weather in January and February has made assessing the underlying strength of the economy especially challenging.”
The economy still stinks, but we’re going to blame it on the weather.
The unemployment rate, at 6.7 percent, is three‐tenths lower than the data available at the time of the December meeting. Further, broader measures of unemployment such as the U6 measure, which includes marginally attached workers and those working part‐time, but preferring full‐time work, have fallen even more than the headline unemployment rate over this period. And labor force participation has ticked up.