Steady US Hiring Likely Continues Even as Growth Stumbles

57
Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 7:31 AM

S. hiring has been powerful for the past six months, yet economic growth has faltered over the same period. Which yardstick paints the more accurate picture of how the country is doing? The March jobs report, to be released Friday, may assistance reply that question.

U. S. hiring has been powerful for the past six months, yet economic growth has faltered over the same period. Which yardstick paints the more accurate picture of how the country is doing?

The March jobs report, to be released Friday, may assistance reply that question. Economists forecast another solid mo of gains: They expect employers added 200.000 jobs in March, while the unemployment rate remained at an eight-year low of 4.9 percent, according to a survey by data provider FactSet.

Hiring at that pace would demonstrate that employers stay confident sufficient in the economy to add to their staffs, despite signs of sluggish growth. That suggests they look the sluggishness as likely to be temporary.

It could also allow a needed boost to growth for the rest of this year, particularly if it's accompanied by a solid expand in pay. More jobs and higher incomes typically fuel consumer spending, which is a critical source of growth this year. Other potential drivers of the economy, such as exports and business investment, have weakened.

Consumer spending has faltered since latest winter after healthy gains in two thousand-fifteenth. Spending ticked up just 0.one % in Feb for the third mo in a row. That lukewarm trend caused many economists to slash their forecasts for growth in the first quarter of this year to below 1 percent.

Tag Zandi, chief economist at Moody'south Analytics, says the economic growth figures will likely be revised higher over time, bringing them more closely in line with the powerful jobs numbers.

"If you're trying to realize how this economy is doing, I wouldn't pay attention to the GDP numbers," Zandi said. "I'd pay attention to the jobs numbers. We can count jobs."

Americans show up to be pocketing much of their savings from lower gas prices rather than spending them. The savings rate rose to 5.4 % in February, the highest in a year.

Drivers paid an average of $1.86 a gal in the first three months of this year, according to AAA. That was the cheapest quarterly average in twelfth years, AAA says, though gas prices have ticked higher in the past few weeks.

Zandi helps payroll processor ADP compile its own monthly figures of private sector hiring. The latest ADP report released Wednesday found that U. S. businesses added 200.000 jobs in March, though the ADP figures frequently diverge from the official numbers.

Other economic data has been unusually mixed. Several reports propose that manufacturers may be stabilizing after a difficult two thousand fifteen, when feeble overseas growth and the powerful dollar hurt production.

A survey by the Institute for Supply Management, a trade grouping of purchasing executives, found that factory action has shrunk for five straight months. But its measure increased to 49.5 in February, nearly topping fifty, which is the level that signals expansion.

The latest ISM manufacturing data will also be released Friday. Several regional factory surveys that have already been issued showed healthy increases in March.

And U. S. factory output increased in Feb for the second straight month, according to the Federal Reserve. Those gains came after a string of declines, though output is still up 1.8 % in the past year.

Americans have pulled back a bit from home-buying. Sales of existing homes fell a sharp 7.1 % in February, held back by a lack of available supply that's pushed up prices.

And sales of new homes rose two % in February. However, the gain was entirely attributable to a leap in the West, where sales soared after a sharp fall the previous month. New residence sales declined in the other three regions.

READ ALSO
Musicians turn out for David Bowie tribute concerts

Musicians turn out for David Bowie tribute concerts

Jakob Dylan, Michael Stipe, the Flaming Lips and Heart'south Ann Wilson were among the artists who joined Bowie'south former collaborator Tony Visconti and other musicians who'd performed with the late rock star."God bless David Bowie," Dylan said after performing...

72
Giants’ Bruce Bochy still weighing lineup options

Giants’ Bruce Bochy still weighing lineup options

"That’s why I didn’t write it down."Bochy, though, said he recently told his current crop of starting position players he thinks he could do just that and be pleased with the outcome.

79
Libya Urges UN to Act to Defend Sovereign Wealth Fund

Libya Urges UN to Act to Defend Sovereign Wealth Fund

Libya'south U. N. Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi told the council that he was "surprised" there had been number response to the government'south request latest week for an exemption from U.

69