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The September jobs report was a stinker.
Job growth was less than expected, the unemployment rate was unchanged, wages disappointed, revisions to August’s report were bad, and the participation rate fell to a new 38-year-low.
And following this news, Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG and one of the most bullish strategists on Wall Street, has thrown in the towel on the Fed raising rates in 2015 – and maybe ever – while also tossing out the idea that the US economy can be the engine that powers a faltering world economy.
In an email blast following Friday’s report, Rupkey wrote that “rates will never go up again.”
“The jobs market struck out in September as far as the Fed’s concerned,” Rupkey wrote on Friday. “No rate hike in October now certainly, and 2015 looks increasingly impossible. If the Committee was looking for more improvement this isn’t it.”
“We are reassessing our Fed call for December at the moment. The idea the U.S. economy could power forward while the rest of the world is stalling out, that idea can be put in the garage bin. The biggest engine for world growth looks to be sputtering here, and interest rates are unlikely to be the first in the world to come off of the zero bound.”
And so not only was the jobs report a disappointment, but enough for Rupkey to sound the alarm on the overall health of the US economy.
The latest jobs number, however, looks, in the eyes of at least some strategists, to be putting this idea – that the US consumer can power not just the US economy but a faltering global economy – in doubt.
As for the Fed, this report seems likely to keep them on hold through year-end.
Following Friday’s report, the futures market was implying a roughly 52% chance of the Fed raising rates in March 2016.