Friday’s disappointing jobs report is likely to curb the Federal Reserve’s recent enthusiasm about the U.S. economic recovery, but it seems unlikely on its own to convince officials they should alter the policy course Chairman Ben Bernanke laid out for the central bank in December.
That course calls for gradual reductions in its monthly bond purchases as the recovery picks up momentum, with an eye to ending the program this year. The Fed has been buying mortgage and Treasury bonds to hold down long-term interest rates in hopes of boosting economic growth.
“It takes a lot more than one labor-market report to be convincing that the trend has shifted,” Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, told reporters after giving a speech in Raleigh, N.C., Friday. “In my experience one employment report rarely has an effect by itself on monetary policy.”