Goldman's Hatzius: Fed will taper, but it will 'lean' dovish
Following a disappointing jobs report, Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jan Hatzius told CNBC that this new information is unlikely to stop the Federal Reserve from tapering, but markets should expect a more dovish tone from the central bank.
August's jobs report saw 169,000 nonfarm payrolls and a lower 7.3 percent unemployment rate. Wall Street's consensus expectation was 180,000, while whisper numbers reached about 200,000.
"In general, it seems to us that things are going at a decent pace, we think the economy is starting to pick up a bit," Hatzius said in a "Squawk on the Street" interview Friday. "We still feel quite comfortable with the idea that 2014 is going to be significantly stronger than 2013."
Hatzius pointed out that although the jobs report disappointed, other recently released indicators, such as ISM and claims data, suggest positive trends for the market.
At the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting, Hatzius said that his expectation is that the central bank will begin a program of tapering its asset purchases, but "they will lean pretty hard on making it a dovish taper."
He said the number could be "$20 billion or a little less" but said the dovish lean could include a reinforcement of forward guidance, a lowering of the unemployment threshold or introducing additional conditions that need to be met before hiking rates.
Those additional conditions could potentially include placing more weight on inflation targeting and employment-to-population ratios such as labor force participation.
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"They're already talking about those things, but you could go further in that direction," Hatzius said, adding that unemployment "could be well below the 6.5 percent before the first hike comes."