A patch of soft economic data has created uncertainty inside the Federal Reserve about when to start raising short-term interest rates, dimming the chances of a move as early as June.
Recent reports showed a slowdown in U.S. hiring in March, tepid growth in consumer spending at retail stores, a big drop in industrial output and softer-than-expected home building, reinforcing a view the economy downshifted in the first quarter and didn’t have great momentum moving into the second.
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The robust January jobs report highlights a dilemma for Federal Reserve officials as they enter a critical stretch in their policy deliberations: How hot can they let the job market run before raising short-term interest rates?
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