The February jobs report supports the case that the Federal Reserve doesn’t have to rush to increase interest rates, BlackRock bond guru Jeff Rosenberg said Friday.
The slowing wage number — average hourly earnings down 0.1 percent — and the headline 242,000 nonfarm payroll gain show inflation remains tame and takes recession worries off the table, Rosenberg told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
“This is slowing in terms of wage growth and pressures. That keeps the Fed and the pace of normalization off,” he said.
The unemployment rate for last month was unchanged at 4.9 percent.
Economists had expected a nonfarm payroll gain of 190,000 in February, an unchanged jobless rate of 4.9 percent and an average hourly earnings increase of 0.2 percent, according to Thomson Reuters.
Heading into the jobs report, expectations for additional rake hikes this year were starting to creep back. The Fed, when it increased rates for the first time in more than nine years in December, had projected four hikes in 2016.
The new year market slump had basically factored out that aggressive path. But stocks and oil started to bounce in the middle of last month, raising the prospects for a 2016 rate hike or hikes.
Still market participants do not see a Fed rate increase at the central bank’s March 15-16 meeting.