As many investors view the August jobs report as a make-or-break moment for markets, one of Wall Street’s largest banks says several other key pieces of data could ultimately help the Fed shift toward a September rate hike.
“Growth is set to rebound in the second half of the year after a very, very weak first half of the year,” said Gabriela Santos of JPMorgan on CNBC’s “Futures Now” on Thursday. “That’s what matters for the Fed.”
The global market strategist noted that, despite weak manufacturing data, her firm remains optimistic because of diminishing global risks and nascent inflationary pressures in addition to expectations for an improving U.S. labor market.
Therefore a strong employment report, compounded with these other key pieces of data, could ultimately lead to a near-term rate hike.
“We’ve seen a substantial improvement in the labor market since that very disappointing May number,” added Santos. “What we’re looking for is not just a strong headline number, but an all-around strong report with strength in payrolls, a drop in the unemployment rate and some further pickup in salary growth.”
After a May where only 24,000 nonfarm payroll jobs were added to the economy, June and July saw 292,000 and 255,000 jobs added, respectively. However, Santos doesn’t believe September’s result has to be within the same range for the Fed to consider a move and added that 150,000 jobs could be enough to move the needle in 2016.
“We’re coming on the back of months of a very strong rebound in the payrolls number,” Santos said in reference to her expectations for ongoing positive developments, which include a rate hike. “If it doesn’t happen in September, it’s happening in December.”