Wall Street Journal (08/18/14) Jon Hilsenrath
As U.S. Federal Reserve officials travel this week to their annual gathering in Jackson Hole, WY, where they and the world’s leading central bankers discuss economic issues, a growing number of economists believe slack in labor markets is diminishing, making the economy prone to inflation and financial markets prone to overshooting with short-term interest rates near zero. The unemployment rate fell to 6.2% in July from 7.3% a year ago, a decline far faster than Fed officials expected.
Fed Chairman Janet Yellen seems likely to acknowledge the improving job market, though she has argued for much of the year that slack and headwinds endure after the 2008-09 financial crisis. Fed forecasts show most officials expect to start raising rates next year. Many market participants see mid-2015 as the starting point. Top Fed officials believe they can be patient before starting to raise short-term rates.
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