Corporate payrolls increased by a robust 234,000 in January, according to this morning’s ADP Employment Report. The gain is slightly below December’s 242,000, although both numbers point to a solid rate of expansion in the labor market. Taking today’s update at face value points to a better-than-expected advance in Friday’s official employment report that’s due from the Labor Department. The mystery is why the government’s data to date has been trailing ADP’s estimates by a comparatively wide margin. Will the upcoming report from Washington close the gap? Or has the ADP data been overestimating the strength of the economy’s record on minting new jobs?
Focus Economics, a consultancy that specializes in slicing, dicing and otherwise aggregating forecasts from various sources, rolled out its annual short list of “top blogs” in economics and finance for 2018 and The Capital Spectator made the grade. It’s a high honor, considering the prestigious roster of sites — 101 in all — that we’re rubbing shoulders with. Happy reading!
The question has gone viral lately, courtesy of the recent rise in interest rates. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield, for instance, edged up to 2.73% yesterday, the highest in nearly four years. The 2-year rate’s ascent has been even stronger, rising to a 10-year high on Tuesday.
Trump links presidency to US prosperity in State of the Union speech: Bloomberg
Five key takeaways in Trump’s State of the Union speech: The Hill
Fed on track to leave rates unchanged in Yellen’s last meeting as chair: Reuters
N. Korea expected to parade missiles ahead of Winter Olympics in S. Korea: CNN
Is Amazon’s entry into healthcare space a step to reordering industry? Bloomberg
US Consumer Confidence Index rises in Dec, close to 18-year high: CNBC
Case-Shiller index: US home prices rise 6.2% in Nov vs year-ago level: USA Today
Should int’l investors show more respect (fear) for forex risk? The Economist
Trump’s approval by state — West Virginia leads, Vermont lags: Gallup
The benchmark 10-year rate yesterday (Jan. 30) jumped to 2.70% for the first time since 2014, based on daily data via Treasury.gov. One of the catalysts is firmer expectations for higher inflation. A weaker dollar is a factor too. Whatever the reason, the technical profile for the 10-year rate has recently shifted to an upside posture, signaling that the trend will continue.
Washington think-tank projects US budget deficit above $1 trillion in 2019: Reuters
CIA director says Russia may meddle in this fall’s US mid-term elections: BBC
Eurozone GDP increased by a solid 0.6% in 2017’s fourth quarter: Bloomberg
What’s on the agenda for Trump’s state of the union speech tonight? USA Today
US consumer spending up 0.4% in Dec as savings rate drops to 12yr low: Reuters
Japan retail spending rises 0.9% in Dec, beating expectatins: RTT
Dallas Fed mfg production index eases in Jan after reaching 11yr high: Dallas Fed
Obamacare reduced financial distress for young adults: Philly Fed
Rising Treasury yields pose a risk for stocks: Bloomberg
10-year Treasury yield reaches 2.7% for first time since 2014: MarketWatch
It was a clean sweep. Every one of the major asset classes posted an increase last week, based on a set of exchange-traded products. The gains, a sign of heightened optimism, mark the first across-the-board advances on a calendar-week basis since last November.
Trump faces deadline on implementing Russia sanctions: Politico
Israel’s Netanyahu in Moscow for talks on Syria with Putin: Reuters
Trump admin. considering nationalizing portion of US mobile network: Axios
Shale oil boom boosts US leverage in economics and diplomacy: NY Times
2017:Q4 increasaes 2.6%, slowest rise since since Q1: MarketWatch
US durable goods orders rose 2.9% in Dec, the most in six months: Bloomberg
How much longer will rising consumer confidence lift the US economy? NY Times
US merchandise-trade deficit widens to biggest gap since 2008: Bloomberg
UK GDP growth beats expectations in Q4 with 0.5% increase: RTT
For first time in nearly a decade, all the major economies expanding: NY Times
Economists were looking for a 2.9% rise for GDP in today’s fourth-quarter report, according to Econoday.com’s consensus forecast. The actual number, the Bureau of Economic Analysis advised, was softer than expected, decelerating to 2.6% — the slowest since the weak 1.2% gain in 2017’s Q1. The latest rise is still a decent number, although no one’s popping champagne corks over the results. On the other hand, looking through the quarterly figures suggests that the recent improvement in economic output still has upside momentum.