El-Erian Says Jobs Report Could Be Key to Fed’s Timing

The monthly jobs report could be a swing factor for the Federal Reserve in determining whether to raise rates next month, said Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz SE and a Bloomberg View columnist.

“If they see solid jobs growth -- in excess of 200,000 -- and second if they see wages finally move up, that is a signal they better get going,” El-Erian said Sunday in a Fox News broadcast interview.

The U.S. economy probably added 220,000 jobs in August and average hourly earnings rose 2.1 percent over the prior year, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News in advance of the Sept. 4 report. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Saturday at a central bank conference at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that he expected inflation to move back to the central bank’s 2 percent target over time.

El-Erian said while the first rate increase in nearly a decade is a close call, “my gut feeling is they won’t go in September. There is too much global uncertainty.”

U.S. markets have been volatile amid concern over slowing in China and that volatility is likely to persist over the next few weeks, El-Erian said.

’’The international indicators are saying be careful,’’ he said. “The Fed is worried about the unintended consequences of raising rates. You will strengthen the dollar and that will create a headwind for the economy.”

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