Why would the Fed raise interest rates when the economy is slowing?

10-Year Treasury yields have rebounded off their all-time low, shown here on a monthly chart, but remain in a secular down-trend. Only recovery above 3.0 percent (a long way off) would signal that the long-term down-trend has reversed.

10-Year Treasury Yields

The 5-year breakeven inflation rate (5-year Treasury Yield – 5-year TIPS yield) suggests that the long-term outlook for inflation is low. But growth in Hourly Non-Farm Earnings and Core CPI (excluding Food and Energy) has started to rise.

5-year Breakeven rate & Hourly Non-Farm Earnings Growth

One would expect the Fed to be preparing for another rate increase to tame inflationary pressures. But there are still concerns about the strength of the recovery.

Growth in estimated total weekly Non-Farm Earnings has been declining since early 2015; calculated by multiplying Average Hourly Earnings by Average Weekly Hours and the Total Non-Farm Payroll.

Estimated Weekly Non-Farm Earnings

If we examine the breakdown, growth in the Total Non-Farm Payroll is slowing and Average Weekly Hours Worked are declining.

Non-Farm Payrolls & Average Weekly Hours

Not what one would expect from a robust recovery.

2 thoughts on “Why would the Fed raise interest rates when the economy is slowing?

  1. pls says:

    Recently charts are mentioned but not included ? Thanks paul

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