The headlines tell only part of the employment story. To wit, the economy lost 33,000 jobs last month—the first monthly decline in seven years. On the face of it, that would portend an ill wind blowing in for investors.
Inconsistency remains the standard for this long business expansion. And nowhere is this more evident than in the 2017 GDP pattern.
Housing remains a core component of the long business expansion. True, records are not being set.
The second-half economy may not be as strong as we had expected. To wit, after a reassuring 3.0% rise in GDP in the April-to-June period and encouraging early third-quarter metrics, the nation had seemed positioned for a similarly impressive final six months.
The nation will soon enter the homestretch of 2017 facing some unexpected headwinds. To wit, the economy, which stumbled out of the gate during the seasonally slow first quarter, before perking up in the second three months (when the U.S.
The economy is giving off mixed signals, with moderating employment gains, low wage growth, and slumping car sales countered by strengthening levels of manufacturing and non-manufacturing. Specifically, just 156,000 jobs were added in August, while there were downward revisions in job growth for June and July.
The nation’s economy continues to amble forward, performing in much the same unimposing fashion that it has since the recovery began more than eight years ago.
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Wall Street’s focus has shifted away from the economy to a degree. In part, this evolving emphasis is due to the calendar, as data on manufacturing, employment, homebuilding, and producer and consumer prices are already in the books for this month, although reports on consumer confidence, the gross domestic product, and durable goods orders still are a
The employment outlook remains reassuring. To wit, the nation added 209,000 jobs in July, the fifth time in seven months this year the gain has exceeded 200,000. Moreover, the jobless rate eased from 4.4% to 4.3%; the labor force participation rate edged up to 62.9%; and average hourly wages rose by nine cents, following a nickel gain in June.