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Economy's Health Improving


Lakshman Achuthan, managing director at Economic Cycle Research Institute in New York, comments on U.S. economic growth and Federal Reserve policy on interest rates. He spoke in an interview before the Labor Department released its April employment data today.

On the April jobs report:
"This is not a leading indicator of the economy or inflation. I wouldn't worry too much about it" even if we see fewer-than-expected job creations or stronger-than-expected wage growth.

"There are a number of reasons why we are not getting the kind of jobs growth" that we used to have when the economy was growing at 2 or 3 percent, "and that is because we have had a big drawdown of the number of people available to work, and also there's been a structural shift" over the last 10 years.

On why he expects the Fed to keep interest rates unchanged:
"I think people just don't have a clear idea or framework to deal with the economy we have got right now. We have an economy that's growing healthy, it has tight labor markets, but for the time being, underlying inflationary pressures are easing."

"The key thing is that there's not going to be any kind of recessionary information" out of economic reports. Concern for a recession "is completely off the table. In the fall we had some vulnerability, but now we have none."
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