Take Two on U.S. Jobs to Show If Tepid Data Was a Blip: Eco Week
The U.S. jobs report due on Friday augurs a pivotal moment for investors to assess whether surprisingly tepid job gains seen last month were a momentary blip or the start of something more persistent.
Payrolls may have risen by 650,000 in May, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists. That would be a significant acceleration from the previous disappointing gain of 266,000, though still a moderation from the million-plus increase originally anticipated when that last report was published.
Those high expectations drove the biggest downside miss in records dating back to 1996, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and underscored labor-market frictions that have stemmed from reopening the world’s largest economy.
States have largely removed pandemic restrictions on activity, inducing businesses like the beleaguered leisure and hospitality sector to try to shore up employee headcount. But despite a seemingly large supply of labor, firms are struggling to hire.
Many small businesses and Republicans have pointed to enhanced unemployment benefits as the culprit, but Democrats and economists have highlighted issues like lingering Covid-19 fears and childcare obligations. The report on Friday might give only limited insight on that, beyond evidence of the pace of U.S. jobs growth, the state of workforce participation and budding wage pressures.
What Bloomberg Economics Says:
“The April jobs miss was a one-off and ongoing reopening across the country will pull a significantly higher number of Americans into employment in May. June and July data will test whether the recent slowdown in hiring stemmed from Americans opting to receive unemployment benefits instead of seeking to get back to work, as augmented benefits will expire in half of the states across the nation.”
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A number of Federal Reserve officials are scheduled to speak this week, including Chair Jerome Powell, who will address a climate change conference on Friday alongside International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang.
Concurrently, Group of Seven finance ministers will start a two-day meeting in London, at a time of diverging fortunes across the bloc. The U.S. and U.K. are more advanced in plans to reopen economies than European nations, whose vaccine rollouts have been more hesitant, while Japan has just extended a state of emergency in Tokyo and other major cities. Meanwhile Canada -- which reports jobs numbers and first-quarter GDP this week -- is still in the process of opening its border with the U.S.
Elsewhere in the world economy, the OECD presents new economic forecasts on Monday and central banks in India, Australia, Israel and Ghana are among those setting rates.
Click here for what happened last week and below is our wrap of what is coming up in the global economy.
China’s PMI reports will be closely watched on Monday amid signs the economy’s momentum is moderating as rising commodity prices stretch its vast industrial sector. Manufacturing reports from across the region follow the next day.
South Korea releases export data on Tuesday that’s expected to show the recovery in global trade continues to hum along, though the figures will be exaggerated by comparison with dismal performance a year earlier. Inflation is expected to accelerate further just days after the Bank of Korea raised its view for the year.
Japan will release production and retail sales data that will shed light on how the economy was holding up in the ongoing virus emergency, while capital spending data for last quarter will be used to revise GDP figures.
Australia’s central bank meets Tuesday, and with neighboring New Zealand already flagging a possible interest-rate increase next year, markets will be closely watching for any indication the RBA will also tip toe away from its current emergency monetary settings. First quarter GDP numbers follow on Tuesday.
In India, GDP data at the start of the week will capture activity through the first three months of the year, before the second wave of Covid-19 hammered activity. The Reserve Bank of India meets Friday -- economists expect its main policy leavers will be kept unchanged according to early forecasts compiled by Bloomberg.
- For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for Asia
Europe, Middle East, Africa
In the euro zone, inflation probably accelerated in May to the fastest since 2018. The reading of 1.9% anticipated by economists on Tuesday would ostensibly meet the ECB’s definition of price stability, though policy makers insist they would need to see far more evidence of its sustainability to start thinking about winding down stimulus.
Officials have warned of volatility in the data in coming months, driven by temporary effects that might not persist. Their conviction is likely to be bolstered by the underlying measure of inflation that strips out items such as energy and food, for which economists expect a much more subdued reading of just 0.9%.
In the U.K. meanwhile, a week shortened by a national holiday on Monday will feature house-price data from Nationwide Building Society and a couple of appearances by Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey.
Turkey will publish GDP data for the first quarter on Monday, with economists predicting the economy expanded 5% from a year earlier. May inflation data are due Thursday. Russian consumer data this week are expected to show a rebound in activity compared to the lockdown last year but still below 2019 levels.
Israel’s central bank is likely to keep its base rate at a record low 0.1% on Monday as it gives the reopened economy more room to pick up speed in one of the world’s most-vaccinated nations.
On the same day, policy makers in Ghana will probably hold the key interest rate at a nine-year low as risks to the inflation outlook are to the upside and the economy remains vulnerable to the impact of a potential third wave of Covid-19 infections.
Elsewhere on the same continent, data on Tuesday will likely show South Africa’s unemployment rate remained near a record high in the first quarter. On Wednesday, the central bank in Mauritius will probably keep its benchmark rate at an all-time low, with inflation near 0% giving it room to continue supporting the economy and the private sector’s recovery from a second lockdown.
- For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for EMEA
Chile on Monday and Tuesday posts April reports on unemployment, retail sales, manufacturing, industrial output and economic activity. The economy has almost recovered to third-quarter 2019 levels, and a domestic-demand-led recovery looks to be underway.
Colombia on Monday and Tuesday posts unemployment and export readings for April and the first-quarter current account tally. Lima, Peru’s May consumer price report, should put inflation squarely in the target range.
Brazil’s April’s budget and debt data posted Monday may show both continuing to stabilize at historically high levels, while early April virus-related restrictions may weigh on industrial output figures.
Brazil’s GDP report Tuesday will likely show quarterly and annual growth in the three months through March. Thanks to massive stimulus, Brazil’s pandemic recession in 2020 was relatively shallow at -4.1% in comparison to regional peers, but absent that government backstop its 2021 recovery will also likely be more modest.
The big item on Mexico’s agenda is the central bank’s quarterly inflation report. Analysts’ inflation estimates for the year have been ticking up, but 2021 GDP forecasts are rising ever faster.
- For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for Latin America
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