Chicago Fed President Charles Evans—a voting member of the central bank’s policymaking committee—told CNBC Friday he’d be patient on raising interest rates and would not make a move before 2016.
He appeared on “Squawk Box” just moments after the release of the December jobs report, which showed stronger-than-expected nonfarm job growth of 252,000. The unemployment rate dropped by a slightly greater-than-forecast to 5.6 percent.
The U.S. has seen a substantial improvement in the labor market, Evans said, adding there’s been “good, good progress” in the jobless rate. The improvements in the labor market had been a requirement of the Fed before even considering lower rates.
The already strong November jobs increase was revised higher by 32,000 to 353,000.
While job growth has been strong, Evans, among the most dovish Fed members, said policymakers need to pay attention to the lack of inflation. Inflation needs to rise to the Fed’s target of 2 percent before he feels better about the possibility of increasing rates.
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