16 January 2004, 16:18  Fed's Poole says US jobs to pick up soon

NEW YORK, Jan 16 - St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President William Poole said on Friday that recent slow jobs growth was not consistent with the strong pace of production and he expected it to pick up soon. Speaking to CNBC, Poole said the surprisingly weak December payrolls figure was an anomaly. Payrolls rose only 1,000 in December when analysts had looked for a gain of 130,000 or more. On monetary policy, Poole said it was clear the market was unsure what exactly the Fed meant when it said policy could be accommodative for a "considerable period". "We are going to be looking at all aspects of our statement and communications process. I can't forecast the outcome of that but I can tell you it's underway," he said.
Asked about the weak dollar, Poole noted the Fed did not set currency policy but added it was watching the situation. Asked further about how some foreign central banks were amassing huge holdings of U.S. debt by intervening to buy dollars, Poole said this was actually a sign of their confidence in the U.S. financial system.//

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