US Treasurer Says Economy Needs Wage Growth

The U.S. economy has turned the corner, with sustainable growth in business activity and jobs, said Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

“We’re getting some benefit now from oil prices in terms of the economy getting a bit of a boost on top of that. So I’m feeling pretty confident that we’re looking at a good period ahead,” Lew said in an exclusive interview that aired on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday.

One area where Lew would like to see further increases is in wages, despite a 12 cents an hour move higher in January’s better-than-expected employment report—that represented the largest monthly gain in the economic recovery and an annualized growth rate of 2.2 percent. “We need more wage growth that people can really feel,” he said.

Strong upward revisions in November and December pushed average job creation to 336,000 for the past three months, according to Friday’s report from the U.S. Labor Department.

Overall economic activity has not been as robust. Growth estimates for the first quarter were converging around a 2.5 percent pace after the Commerce Department reported last month a weaker-than-expected 2.6 percent growth rate for the fourth quarter.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza