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Tag Archives: Labor Market

Red Flags All Over It-Wasn’t-Worse Payroll Friday

Better-than-expected is the new strong. Even I’m amazed at the satisfaction being taken with October’s payroll numbers. While you never focus too much on one monthly estimate, this time it might be time to do so. But not for those other reasons. Sure, GM caused some disruption and the Census is winding down, both putting everyone on edge. The whisper numbers were low double digits, maybe even a negative headline estiamte. Markets had been riding pure pessimism beforehand, with inverted curves...

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The Inventory Context For Rate Cuts And Their Real Nature/Purpose

What typically distinguishes recessions from downturns is the inventory cycle. Even in 2008, that was the basis for the Great “Recession.” It was distinguished most prominently by the financial conditions and global-reaching panic, true, but the effects of the monetary crash registered heaviest in the various parts of that inventory process. An economy for whatever reasons slows down. That leads to inventory piling up across the various levels of the supply chain. Most businesses will remain...

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Three (Rate Cuts) And GDP, Where (How) Does It End?

The Federal Reserve has indicated that it will now pause – for a second time, supposedly. Remember the first: after raising its benchmark rates apparatus in December while still talking about an inflationary growth acceleration requiring even more hikes throughout 2019, in a matter of weeks that was transformed into a temporary suspension of them. Expecting the easy disappearance of “transitory” factors, that Fed pause was to be followed by the second half rebound and eventual if careful...

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From JOLTS Series Shift To Series of Rate Cuts

I’ve said all along that they would be dragged into them kicking and screaming. After all, the Federal Reserve undertook its last rate hike in December 2018 – just as the markets were making clear he was completely mistaken in his view of the economy. What followed was the ridiculous “Fed pause” which pretty much everyone outside of the central bank and the Economics profession knew wasn’t the end of it. You know the story. When he finally gave in at the end of July, the Federal Reserve...

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Why The Japanese Are Suddenly Messing With YCC

While the world’s attention was fixated on US$ repo for once, the Bank of Japan held a policy meeting and turned in an even more “dovish” performance. Likely the global central bank plan had been to combine the Fed’s second rate cut with what amounted to a simultaneous Japanese pledge for more “stimulus” in October. Both of those followed closely an ECB which got itself back in the QE business once more. But all that likely coordinated “accommodation” was spoiled once the fed funds rate poked...

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Six Things to Watch in the Week Ahead

The prospect of a third trade truce between the US and China helped underpin the optimism that extended the rally in equities.  Bond yields continued to back-up after dropping precipitously in August, led by a more than 30 bp increase in the US yield benchmark.  The Dollar Index fell for the second consecutive week, something it had not done this quarter.   The Federal Reserve's meeting on September 18 is the most important calendar event in the week ahead. There is no doubt in the...

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Consumers Have To or Want To with Revolving Credit?

The Federal Reserve reported yesterday that revolving consumer credit in the US rose by a seasonally adjusted $10 billion in the month of July 2019. That was the largest single monthly increase since November 2017. Given how the latter month was related to “residual seasonality”, meaning Americans spending perhaps more than they wanted for the Christmas holiday, and the middle of summer is not, it raises some questions about what’s going on at the margins of the labor market. As noted for...

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Labor Data Dependent

Right now, everything comes down to the labor market. Does the US economy hang on despite stubborn and evidently non-transitory overseas turmoil cross currents? Or do American consumers rightly confident of the economic situation re-assert themselves via their wallets and deliriously spend the economy back on track? You better believe Fed Chairman Jay Powell will be watching the data very closely. If there is one thing which will move policymakers more than a plunge at the NYSE, it would be...

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Simple Payrolls Right Now, Before Getting To The More Complex Issues

Where things stand right now is actually a pretty simple matter. How and why everything might change, as well as how and why we got here, those are more complex issues which depending upon your understanding may not lead to a clear picture of conditions. Right now, we are told, there will be just the one rate cut, maybe a second one coming up, because the US economy while not as robust as last year is still very strong underneath everything else. This mainstream view is predicated on only one...

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Japan: Fall Like Germany, Or Give Hope To The Rest of the World?

After trading overnight in Asia, Japan’s government bond market is within a hair’s breadth of setting new record lows. The 10-year JGB is within a basis point and a fraction of one while the 5-year JGB has only 2 bps to reach. It otherwise seems at odds with the mainstream narrative at least where Japan’s economy is concerned. Record lows in Germany, those seem to make sense. By every account, the German economy is in trouble. So obvious, even the notoriously frugal government is floating...

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