FXStreet (Delhi) – Research Team at Lloyds Bank, notes that not surprisingly, the FOMC statement which accompanied last week’s decision to keep monetary policy unchanged acknowledged the potential downside risks from the weaker external environment. Key Quotes “This uncertainty over the impact on the US economy may have underpinned the absence of any guidance on the prospects of a hike in March. However, speeches by the Kansas Fed’s George (Tue) and especially Fed Vice-Chair Fischer (Mon) provide an opportunity for further guidance. As in the run-up to December’s lift-off, the health of the domestic labour market will be a key policy driver. The strong run of monthly gains in payrolls during Q4, which averaged 251k, partly reflected a weatherrelated boost to construction hiring. The subsequent normalisation of temperatures in January lead us to anticipate a 185k print in Friday’s employment report. However, the FOMC will be reassured by the fact that this is close to the post-crisis average. Despite an easing in pay growth from 2.5% in December to 2.2%, unemployment is expected to fall to 4.9% which would be the lowest reading since February 2008.” For more information, read our latest forex news.