Federal Reserve policymakers are about to extend their year-long campaign of raising interest rates to beat back still-stubborn inflation, even as risks to the US economy build.
The Federal Open Market Committee is expected to boost the benchmark lending rate target by another quarter percentage point on Wednesday, marking the 10th consecutive increase going back to March of last year. While officials’ efforts have helped to reduce price pressures in the US economy, inflation remains well above their goal.
At the same time, first-quarter growth figures this past week pointed to an economy that’s downshifting. The monthly jobs report on Friday will give a sense of how labor demand — a key support for the economy — is holding up.
The projected 180,000 increase in April payrolls is seen as healthy, although it would mark the third straight month of decelerating employment growth. The still-firm labor market has been instrumental in extending an economic expansion that’s increasingly feeling the pinch from tighter Fed policy.
Other data on the schedule include March job openings and April surveys of purchasing managers in manufacturing and services.
Vince Golle and Craig Stirling / Bloomberg