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Fed’s Plosser: Weak December Jobs Data Shouldn’t Affect Taper

Wall Street Journal (01/14/14) Michael S. Derby

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser says that the U.S. Federal Reserve will continue to reduce its bond-buying stimulus program despite weak December jobs data. The data showed weak employment gains and a drop in the jobless rate driven by workers exiting the labor force.

“I believe the economy has met the criteria of significant improvement in labor market conditions for ending the program and that further increases in the balance sheet are unlikely to provide appreciable benefits for recovery,” Plosser says. He expects the unemployment rate will decline to 6.2% by the end of 2014. He attributes declines in labor force participation in part to the retirement of baby boomers, rather than a poor economy forcing people out of the labor market.