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One economist is just not that impressed by the data coming out of the US

Published by Business Insider on Fri, 04 Dec 2015

Barring a major surprise in the next two weeks,it seems that Friday's US jobs report has put the Federal Reserve on track for the first interest rate increase since the Fed funds rate hit zero in 2008.This is the culmination of months buildup and speculationfrom analysts, economists, and everyone in the market. It seems to be themoment when many pundits and economists can say "finally."But,one economist isn't quite as giddy about the data as her peers."At this point, however the Fed appears focused on their expectations of future growth rather than the current state of the economy," said Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel.Piegza has been skeptical of the Fed's seeming intention to raise rates for awhile, and even after the jobs report, she remains firmly in the anti-rate hike camp."A strong employment report this morning, at least against the new, lowered bar of judgment whereby anything over 200k is considered 'solid',"wrote Piegza in a note to clients Friday."Furthermore, coupled with a larger-than-expected decline in the service activity index earlier this week, a multi-month low in service hiring, remains a sizable red flag marring the beauty of the November headline rise."Even outside of jobs, Piegza thinks that the economy is not steady enough for a hike. She calls the 2% GDP growth "stagnant." Additionally, shenotes that while the service economy is leading for now, it usually drops off when manufacturing struggles as it is now.Finally, Piegza pointed to the Fed's own language as a repudiation of the move. Here's Piegza (emphasis ours):"From the Feds perspective, despite underlying concerns evident in the details, the timing of the November report could not have been better, resulting in two back-to-back solid headline increases in employment just before the key December FOMC meeting. Of course, after 83 months of near-zero interest rate policy should it really come down to one or two reports' After all, it wasnt but just last meeting that the Committee downgraded their assessment of job creation from 'solid' to 'slow.' Furthermore, policymakers have been classifying the current activity level of the economy as 'moderate' for the past six months."Piegza has also previously pointed out that inflation is running well below the Fed's mandate of 2%.The Federal Open Market Committee is meetingDecember 15 and 16.SEE ALSO:The wait is over: The Fed will almost certainly raise interest rates on December 16Join the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: What it's like to fly on North Korea's one-star airline
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