Many financial experts were impressed with the October jobs report, and you can count Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester as one of them.
Non-farm payrolls rose 214,000 in the month, and the unemployment rate dropped to a six-year low of 5.8 percent.
"It was a solid report across the board," Mester tells CNBC
. Payrolls have increased more than 200,000 for nine months in a row, she notes, while the unemployment rate has been decreasing and average hourly earnings has been increasing. "I think it's consistent with what we've been seeing."
Mester even cites the 2 percent increase in average hourly earnings over the past year, which most economists see as a sign of weakness, given that consumer prices have risen almost as much during that period — 1.7 percent.
"I think the payroll jobs are a strong indicator that the labor markets are improving," she adds.
However, "There's still room to do better."
As for when the Fed will begin raising interest rates, Mester says, "2015, sometime during there, is the appropriate time." She expects economic growth to total approximately 3 percent during the next two years, and inflation to gradually increase to the Fed's 2 percent target.
"The Fed is going to react, as [Fed Chair] Janet Yellen says, . . . to developments in the economy. That means we're going to be looking at how the economy data comes in, the economic information and the input we get from our business contacts at the regional feds," Mester explains.
"Then we have to look at how that data informs our outlook. Is the data going to change our outlook or not? Is it not significant enough? And we have to think about how close we are to our goals. It's basically looking at sort of how the economy is evolving, how our outlook is changing and our confidence about the outlook is also important."
Meanwhile, David Malpass, president of Encima Global, an economic research firm, takes the Fed to task for its easing program.
"One of the most important functions of constitutional government is to . . . facilitate sound money," he writes in an article for Forbes
. "This is why the current monetary and regulatory regimes' wild excesses are so egregious."
The Fed's balance sheet has bulged to $4.5 trillion from quantitative easing.
"The Fed has now decided to hold on to its investment portfolio for years, perhaps decades, funding it primarily with short-term bank debt, on which the Fed (meaning taxpayers) will pay interest that could top $100 billion," Malpass notes.
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