Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Yesterday after the opening bell, we got some new economic figures, specifically on U.S. manufacturing. Markit Manufacturing PMI for June reached 50.6 — narrowly in positive territory, but better than the 50.1 registered in May. ISM Manufacturing, also for June, posted 51.7% — above the estimated 51.3% but slightly beneath last month’s 52.1%.
These rather tepid numbers nevertheless represent good news, compared to regional manufacturing reports from surveys like Empire State and Philly Fed. Keep in mind we’ve been in a trade war with China for more than half a year and are still posting figures above 50 (breakeven).
Construction spending for May reported yesterday surprised to the downside, however: -0.8% on the headline, below the +0.3% expected and the +0.4% reported for April. We’re a little in arrears with this look, and factor in a cooler (and wetter) than expected spring season in 2019, which can negatively affect these reports.
Today, we expect new motor vehicle sales numbers after the opening bell. We also look toward to a speech scheduled for Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester. A couple months back, Mester referred to 2019 as a “year of transitions,” likely referring in part to interest rate policy.
Tomorrow will bring us new ADP (ADP - Free Report) private-sector payroll numbers, then after the Independence Day holiday Thursday we’ll get the latest jobs numbers and Unemployment Rate from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Friday morning. Last month’s read brought us fewer-than-expected jobs in both surveys, though Unemployment remained steady at an ultra-low 3.6%.
We will look for whether last month was a one-off correction (the 3-month average in monthly jobs gains is roughly 150K per, more than enough to cover for the retiring workforce) or we’re truly seeing a slowdown in domestic labor. This slowdown has been expected by economic “experts” for literally the last two years or more. Will they continue to be proven wrong?
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