Five Questions for Participants at Fed’s Jackson Hole Conference – Real Time Economics

Top central bankers from around the world gather in Jackson Hole, Wyo., this week for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s annual policy conference. This year’s focus is labor markets. The slow recovery of the U.S. job market has been a key reason for aggressive Federal Reserve efforts to stimulate growth, including bond buys and near-zero interest rates.

So what will be the hot topics on the sidelines of the closely watched conference? Here are some of the questions we plan to ask. Tweet your questions to @WSJCentralBanks and use the hashtag #JacksonHole. Check back here on the Real Time Economics blog this weekend for some answers.

1. Does the recent improvement in U.S. economic data warrant consideration from Fed officials about possibly raising interest rates sooner than the summer 2015 time frame market participants currently expect?

2. How much unused capacity or “slack” remains in the U.S. job market? The answer to this question, hotly debated within the central bank, is pivotal to the decision about when to start raising short-term interest rates from near zero.

3. Geopolitical risks seem to be rising quickly and euro-zone growth appears to have stalled. China is also struggling. How much risk do you see of a global economic slowdown hurting U.S. economic activity in the coming year?

4. Has potential U.S. economic growth been permanently damaged by the Great Recession or are we likely to return to growth rates around 3% per year?

5. What worries you more: The possibility the Fed will raise interest rates too early or wait too long?



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21 August 2014 | 6:54 pm – Source:

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