Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Contradiction: Strong Jobs Growth and Weak Economic Growth Predicitions

Update: Obviously I was wrong on the Fed rate hike prediction.  The Fed just raised rates on the strength of inflation data and despite weak economic growth. Reference: Fed raises rates for 3rd time in 15 months, hike forecast unchanged: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/03/15/federal-reserve-interest-rates-economy-janet-yellen-mortgages-credit-cards/99186568/

Original Post:

March 10th's stronger-than-expected number of jobs added, has many falsely believing that the economy is strong.  As of this writing, the Atlanta Federal Reserve's GDPNow projection for economic growth in the first quarter sits at just 1.2% after a dramatic 3.4% projection at the end of January.

The biggest contributor to the strong February jobs number was warmer-than-normal weather and not the economy in general.  Warmer weather meant more construction projects in what would normally be a winter lull.  That is why we saw 58,000 construction jobs created in the month; the highest level in 10 years.  And, we shouldn't erroneously attribute the strong jobs report to some type of Trump-effect.  Further, the assumption that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates solely on the jobs report and not on economic growth is probably wrong.


Strong U.S. job growth, rising wages set stage for Fed rate hike: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-idUSKBN16H0KA?il=0

152,528,000: Record Number of Employed in February; Participation Rate Rises: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/152528000-record-number-employed-february-participation-rate-rises

Source of Graphic: https://www.frbatlanta.org/cqer/research/gdpnow.aspx?panel=1

The numbers are in on this freakishly warm February: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/february-2017-warm-temperatures-climate-change/

No comments: