The market may be obsessed over when the Federal Reserve will raise its short-term rate targets from economic-crisis levels. But according OppenheimerFunds' chief economist, Jerry Webman, using the central bank's words to try to divine the timing of that event has become a fool's errand.
"The Fed has been very clear. They expect to raise rates—'expect,' and I want to emphasize that—they expect to raise rates this year," he said Tuesday on CNBC's "Futures Now."
But will they actually end up pulling the trigger? For Webman, the answer lies not in Fed decision-makers' words or thoughts, but in the coming stream of economic data.
"We should be watching the data, not poring over—like we're some medieval scholastic scholars—every word the Fed says. If inflation numbers stabilize, employment stay OK, we continue to see the employment cost index go up a little bit, then the Fed will tighten, maybe in June, maybe in September," he said.