NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Speaking at the Institute of International Finance Summit in New York on Thursday, Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo said seasonal adjustments and cold weather weren't the only factors that caused the economic slowdown during first quarter.
"Maybe it's just been a lag on the part of consumers to spend the de facto bonus they got from lower gasoline prices, something we haven't seen much of to date," he said. The average price for a gallon of gas stands at $2.76, compared to $3.66 during the same time last year, according to AAA.
Consumers have been saving that stimulus. The personal savings rate inched up to 5.6% in April compared to 5.2% in March, according to the Commerce Department.
As for job creation, nonfarm payrolls rose 191,000 on average, during each month of the first quarter, a drop of almost 34% from the monthly averages created during the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Bureau will release the May jobs report on Friday morning. The consensus estimate for the number of jobs created during the month stands at 220,000. Also expected are average hourly earnings data.
Tarullo said wages have remained weak, despite strong job creation. While he thinks wage growth will accelerate, weak wages can threaten economic growth. "In an economy that's 70 percent dependent on wages, you do need to be supporting income," he said.
As for the markets, Tarullo said there will likely be more volatility ahead. "How much [volatility] and how indefinite a circumstance that is -- I think that remains to be seen."
Investors have been on edge in recent months as the Fed looks to raise short-term interest rates, which have stayed close to zero for over six years. Low rates have helped keep stocks high. Investors remain worried over how stocks will react once the Fed pulls the trigger.