CNBC's Pisani: Jobs Data Show Inflation Isn't a Worry

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 12:05 PM

By Dan Weil

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While some Federal Reserve policymakers have voiced concern about inflation, CNBC commentator Bob Pisani says Friday's jobs data show it's not a problem.

July's payroll gain totaled 209,000, below economists' consensus forecast of a 230,000 increase. Hours worked were unchanged.

And on the compensation front, wages only rose 2 percent in the 12 months through July. The gain for the 12 months through June was revised down to 1.9 percent from 2 percent.

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"The bottom line is there are no wage pressures. That should mute, at least temporarily, any upward pressure on yields," Pisani wrote in a column for CNBC.

Meanwhile, another report showed that the personal consumption expenditures price index, the Fed's favored inflation gauge, climbed only 1.6 percent in the 12 months through June, 1.5 percent excluding food and energy.

That's "another inflation indicator that has yet to show signs of blowing up," he noted.

"Don't get me wrong: I'm not happy about the muted wage growth. I would be perfectly happy to trade higher wages for a flat to modestly down stock market. I view putting more coin in the average man's pocket as more important than keeping the S&P 500 at a record high, which looks fairly rich north of 1,900."

The Fed has an inflation target of 2 percent.

To be sure, inflation has risen from the start of the year, when it was running at a rate of about 1 percent. "Inflation is still very tame, but it has started edging up," Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, N.Y., told The Wall Street Journal.

Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher appears concerned about inflation. He told CNBC
that the Fed might have to raise interest rates early next year, thanks to the economy's strength.

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