All Posts Tagged: consumer spending

U.S. Outlook: Job growth bounces back in March

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

Despite a weaker than expected ADP employment report that seemed to highlight downside risks to today’s jobs numbers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a stronger than expected rebound in nonfarm payrolls in March.

Nonfarm employment increased 196K last month from an upwardly revised 33K gain in February. The net upward revision for January and February payrolls was a solid 14K jobs. Clearly, fears that U.S. job growth was going to rapidly deteriorate following February’s much worse than expected original estimate of 20K jobs were wildly exaggerated. However, don’t celebrate the nonfarm payroll jump in March too heartily. There are signs below the surface of today’s headline jobs gain that the U.S. labor market could be in for a rougher time ahead.

For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on April 5.

Key observations:
  • U.S. job growth is decelerating, just not at the pace that would herald the arrival of an economic recession.
  • In the March jobs report, we saw net job losses of 6K in manufacturing and 12K jobs in retail trade. These sectors tend to be some of the more cyclical sectors for employment so increasing job loss here could be a sign of slower overall job growth ahead.
  • After jumping 0.4 percentage points in February, average hourly earnings growth managed only a 0.1 percentage point gain in March and the year-on-year increase slipped to 3.2% from 3.4%.
  • The three-month average annualized growth rate is even worse at 3.0%. This is not the trend we need see in order to sustain real consumer spending at last year’s pace, or to stoke an acceleration in core consumer inflation back to the Fed’s 2.0% target

Read my full report.

Read More ›

U.S. Outlook: Will consumers resurface in the second quarter?

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

The Treasury yield curve has moved deeper into inversion since last week’s FOMC meeting. And the Fed funds futures market has begun to price in not one, but two or more quarter‐point rate hikes before the end of 2020.

Read More ›

U.S. Outlook: The 2018 U.S. GDP victory rings hollow

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Container ship

Fourth quarter GDP growth hits 2.6%, beating estimates. Find out why Scott Anderson isn’t joining in the celebration. Read U.S. Outlook.

Read More ›

U.S. Outlook: Trimming our GDP forecast

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
National monuments and museums in Washington DC were closed during the U.S. governemnt shutdown in 2013.

How will the government shutdown impact our GDP forecast? Scott Anderson examines the data in his U.S. Outlook.

Read More ›

U.S. Outlook: Estimating the economic impact of the market decline

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Economic crisis - Stock market graphs and charts - Financial and business background

The real world economic impacts from the recent stock market carnage could be substantial. Learn more in Scott Anderson’s U.S. Outlook.

Read More ›