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Decline in ‘Slack’ Helps Fed Gauge Recovery

Wall Street Journal (08/10/14) Pedro Nicolaci Da Costa

Economic slack has narrowed since the recovery began, but conditions have not yet returned to full normalcy. Manufacturing is on the rise, office vacancies are going down, unemployment is declining, and wages and benefits are increasing. The U.S. Federal Reserve is carefully watching these indicators to see whether it is time to raise interest rates. Fed chairman Janet Yellen favors keeping the benchmark short-term rate near zero well into 2015 to help foster more robust growth that should create more jobs and spur wage increases.