There was some cause for optimism in the US economy Friday, as hiring data indicated a bounce back from a startling drop in February. Total nonfarm payroll employment beat expectations with a rise of 196,000 new jobs in March, versus a revised number of 33,000 for the month before.
Wage growth, however, slowed over the same period.
The combination of a recovery in hiring, which suggests the economy is not collapsing, and a slowdown in wage growth indicating that inflation is still subdued was welcomed by markets on Friday morning.
While analysts found relief in signs that the economy is in the lukewarm “goldilocks” sweet spot, US President Donald Trump said he wants to see a “rocket ship.”
“I personally think the Fed should drop rates. I think they really slowed us down. There’s no inflation. I would say, in terms of quantitative tightening, it should actually now be quantitative easing,” Trump told reporters on Friday.
“Very little if any inflation, and I think they should drop rates and get rid of quantitative tightening. You would see a rocket ship. Despite that, we are doing very well,” he added.
Trump has been consistently critical of Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell. So much so that when Powell decided to reverse course and back off planned rate hikes for this year, there was widespread speculation that his decision was made in part due to pressure from Trump and not just based on economic considerations.