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4 October 2017 ADP to Show Slower Job Gains Last Month, but will Overstate BLS Data (Publication Centre)

Today brings the first glimpse of the post-hurricane employment picture, in the form of the September ADP report.

3 February 2017 Upside Risk For Payrolls and Hourly Earnings in January Data Today (Publication Centre)

Our payroll model relies heavily on lagged indicators of the pace of hiring, most of which have improved in recent months after a sustained, though modest, softening which began last spring. That's why we expected an above-consensus reading from ADP on Wednesday and from the BLS today.

07 Mar. 2016 Wage Pressures are Building - Fed Inaction Will Hurt, Later (Publication Centre)

Whatever you do, don't fret over the apparent loss of momentum in the wages numbers; it's a classic statistical head fake, as we pointed out in Friday's Monitor, before the report. When the 15th of the month--payday for people paid semi monthly-- falls after the employment survey week, the BLS fails properly to capture their income, and hourly earnings are under-reported.

10 April 2017 Falling Unemployment Matters More than the Weather-hit Jobs Number (Publication Centre)

The BLS offered no estimate of the impact on payrolls of the snowstorm which hit the Northeast during the March survey week, but it appears to have been substantial. All the leading indicators pointed to a solid 200K-plus reading, more than double the official initial estimate, 98K.

5 October 2018 Jobs Likely Weaker than ADP but Still Solid (Publication Centre)

In the wake of the ADP report released Wednesday, we moved up our payroll forecast to 150K from 100K, but we've now taken a closer look at the post-Florence path of jobless claims.

6 April 2017 ADP Likely Overstates Payrolls, ISM Non-manufacturing Understates (Publication Centre)

We don't directly plug the ADP employment data into our model for the official payroll number. ADP's estimate is derived itself from a model which incorporates lagged official payroll data, because payrolls tend to mean-revert, as well as macroeconomic variables including oil prices, industrial production and jobless claims -- and actual employment data from firms which use ADP's payroll processing services.

6 February 2019 Don't Worry About the Tightening of Bank C&I Lending Standards (Publication Centre)

We are not concerned by the very modest tightening in business lending standards reported in the Fed's quarterly survey of senior loan officers, published on Monday.

4 April 2019 It's Hard to Find the Signal Behind the ADP Noise in March (Publication Centre)

We can think of at least three reasons for the apparent softness of ADP's March private sector employment reading.

6 February 2017 Soft January Hourly Earnings Will Prove Short-Lived (Publication Centre)

Markets over-reacted to the much smaller-than-expected 0.1% increase in January hourly earnings, in our view. We don't have a full explanation for the shortfall against our 0.5% forecast, but that doesn't make it wise to throw out the baby with the bathwater, making the de facto assumption that wage growth now won't accelerate in the future.

31 January 2019 Powell Says No Fed Put, but Stocks Jump and the Curve Steepens (Publication Centre)

The FOMC has gone all-in, more or less, on the idea that the headwinds facing the economy mean that the hiking cycle is over.

3 May 2017 Fed on Hold Today After Mixed Data, but a June Hike Still Looks Likely (Publication Centre)

The Fed likely will do nothing today, both in terms of interest rates and substantive changes to the statement. We'd be very surprised to hear anything new on the Fed's plans for its balance sheet.

30 January 2019 Slightly Softer Language from the Fed, but no Hints of Easing (Publication Centre)

Today's FOMC meeting will be the first non-forecast meeting to be followed by a press conference.

6 February 2019 Q1 GDP Growth will be Lacklustre, but not as Bad as the PMIs Imply (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's news that the business activity index of the Markit/CIPS services survey fell again in January, to just 50.1--its lowest level since July 2016--has created a downbeat backdrop to the MPC meeting; the minutes and Q1 Inflation Report will be published on Thursday.

31 October 2018 The October ADP will be Constrained by the Soft September Payroll Data (Publication Centre)

Today's October ADP measure of private payrolls likely will overshoot Friday's official number.

6 May. 2016 Payrolls Likely On Trend - Watch Out for a Rebound in Wages (Publication Centre)

Barring some sort of out-of-the-blue shock, we are much more interested in the hourly earnings data today than the headline payroll number. The key question is the extent to which wages rebound after being depressed by a persistent calendar quirk in both February and March.

8 March 2017 Could a Bad Payroll Report for February Really Stop the Fed? (Publication Centre)

With the FOMC decision now just seven days away, the forcefulness of recent Fed speakers has led many analysts to argue that only a spectacularly bad payroll report, or an external shock, can prevent a rate hike next week. External shocks are unpredictable, by definition, and we think the chance of a startlingly terrible employment report is low, though substantial sampling error does occasionally throw the numbers off-track.

8 March 2019 Payrolls Constrained by Reversals of Weather and Shutdown Boosts (Publication Centre)

Our below-consensus 125K forecast for today's February payroll number is predicated on two ideas.

9 October 2018 Risks to the Consensus for August GDP Lie to the Upside (Publication Centre)

We expect August's GDP figures, released on Wednesday, to show that month-to-month growth slowed to 0.1%, from 0.3% in July.

9 October 2018 September Payrolls Hit by Florence (Publication Centre)

The dip in payroll growth in September was due to Hurricane Florence. We expect a clear rebound in payrolls in October; our tentative forecast is 250K.

8 January 2018 The Labor Market is Still Tightening, Don't Fret over December Payrolls (Publication Centre)

We aren't perturbed by the undershoot in December payrolls, relative both to the October and November numbers and all the leading indicators.

7 March 2019 Productivity Growth Rose Last Year, but it Probably has Peaked (Publication Centre)

We're expecting to learn this morning that productivity rose by a respectable 1.7% in the year to the fourth quarter, the best performance in nearly four years.

6 March 2019 ISM Non-manufacturing Rebound is Welcome Further Gains Unlikely (Publication Centre)

The rebound in the ISM non-manufacturing index in February was in line with our forecast, but behind the strong headline, the employment index dropped to an eight-month low.

3 July 2019 ADP Set for Clear Rebound, but it Likely will Understate Payrolls (Publication Centre)

Today brings an array of economic data, including the jobless claims report, brought forward because July 4 falls on Thursday.

6 September 2018 ADP Will Report Another Solid Gain in Private Payrolls for August (Publication Centre)

Labor demand appears to have remained strong through August, so we expect to see a robust ADP report today.

7 January 2019 Job Growth will Slow in Q1, but it Won't Collapse, AHE is Accelerating (Publication Centre)

If our composite index of businesses' hiring plans could speak, it would say: "Told you payrolls were going to go nuts at the end of the year."

6 June 2017 ISM Non-manufacturing Jobs Up Sharply. Summer Payrolls to Surge? (Publication Centre)

The 6.4-point rebound in the May ISM non-manufacturing employment index, to a very high 57.8, supports our view that summer payroll growth will be strong. On the face of it, the survey is consistent with job gains in excess of 300K, as our first chart shows, but that's very unlikely to happen.

22 May 2019 The MPC Won't Be "Indifferent" if Sterling Falls Further (Publication Centre)

On a trade-weighted basis, sterling has dropped by only 1.5% since the start of the month, but it is easy to envisage circumstances in which it would fall significantly further.

10 May 2019 Underlying Core Inflation is Stable, Despite the Weak Q1 Core PCE (Publication Centre)

On the face of it, our forecast of higher core inflation by the end of this year is seriously challenged by the recent data.

3 April 2019 ADP set to Signal Mean Reversion in Payrolls After Wild Months (Publication Centre)

We see no reason to think that the recent volatility in payrolls--the 311K leap in January, followed by the 20K February gain--will continue.

12 June 2019 Are CPI Rents Accelerating, or are the Recent Big Gains Just Noise (Publication Centre)

In March, CPI rents--the weighted average of primary and owners' equivalents rents--rose by 0.35% month- to-month.

10 Mar. 2016 Calendar Distortions Plague the Hours Data, Not Just Wages (Publication Centre)

We've had some correspondence questioning our view on the "weakness" of February hourly earnings, which we firmly believe were depressed by a persistent calendar quirk. Almost nine times in 10 over the past decade, when the 15th of the month has fallen after the week of the 12th--the payroll survey week--the monthly gain in wages has undershot the prior trend.

10 July 2017 Jobs Gains to Push Unemployment Below 4%, the Fed will Hike Further (Publication Centre)

The gratifyingly strong 222K headline June payroll gain, if repeated through the second half of the year, will put unemployment below 4% by December.

1 February 2018 Firmer Fed Language on Growth, Inflation, Tees-up the March hike (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's FOMC statement was a bit more upbeat on growth than we expected, with Janet Yellen's final missive describing everything -- economic growth, employment, household spending, and business investment -- as "solid".

1 March 2018 Don't Extrapolate Januarys Core PCE Deflator (Publication Centre)

All eyes today will be on the core PCE deflator for January, following the unexpectedly large 0.3% increase in the core CPI.

1 November 2017 Will the Fed Upgrade its View on Growth Today? (Publication Centre)

The Fed will do nothing today, but the FOMC's statement will re-affirm the intention to continue its "gradual" tightening.

13 Apr. 2016 Downside Risk as Autos Set to Pull Down March Retail Sales (Publication Centre)

The headline March retail sales numbers probably will look horrible, thanks to the unexpected drop in auto sales reported by the manufacturers earlier this month. Their unit sales data don't always move exactly in line with the dollar value numbers in the retail sales report, as our first chart shows, but it's hard to imagine anything other than a clear decline today.

10 October 2017 New Lows for Unemployment will Stiffen Fed Hawks' Resolve (Publication Centre)

Neither the 33K drop in September payrolls nor the 0.5% jump in hourly earnings tells us anything about the underlying state of the labor market.

2 December. 2016 Friendly Seasonals Set to Push Payrolls Back Above 200K? (Publication Centre)

Our payroll model, which incorporates survey data as well as the error term from our ADP forecast, points to a hefty 225K increase in November employment. We have tweaked the forecast to the upside because of the tendency in recent years for the fourth quarter numbers to be stronger than the prior trend, as our first chart shows.

13 July. 2016 Will Higher Prices for Imports Change Inflation Perceptions? (Publication Centre)

In recent years we have argued consistently that investors and the commentariat overstate the importance of the dollar as a driver of U.S. inflation. Only about 15% of the core CPI is meaningfully affected by shifts in the value of the dollar, because the index is dominated by domestic non-tradable services.

22 January 2019 Q1 GDP will Take a Hit, Despite Back Pay for Government Workers (Publication Centre)

The chance of a zero GDP print for the first quarter diminished--but did not die--last week when the president signed a bill granting full back pay to about 300K government workers currently furloughed.

17 July 2017 September Rate Hike Odds Have Fallen, but it's not Over Yet (Publication Centre)

After four straight sub-consensus core CPI readings, we think the odds now favor reversion to the prior trend, 0.2%, over the next few months.

2 November 2017 No Immediate Change to Rate Forecasts if Powell Nominated  (Publication Centre)

After a slew of media reports in recent days, we have to expect that the president will today announce that Fed governor Jerome Powell is his pick to replace Janet Yellen as Chair.

15 November 2017 Core CPI to Mean-Revert as Rents and Vehicle Prices Rebound? (Publication Centre)

A modest dip in gasoline prices will hold down the October CPI, due today, but investors' attention will be on the core, after five undershoots to consensus in the past six months.

13 June 2019 The Used Car Drag on Core Inflation Probably is Over Trend Still 2% (Publication Centre)

The core CPI rose only 0.1% in May, marking the fourth straight soft reading.

14 August 2017 July's Soft-Looking Core CPI was Different from Previous Weak Data (Publication Centre)

July's fifth straight undershoot to consensus in the core CPI was very different the previous four. Only one component--lodging away from home--prevented the first 0.2% month-to-month print since February.

MARKETWATCH - You should trust the BLS more than the Dow, economist says (Media Centre)

Chief U.S. Economist Ian Shepherdson on the U.S. Economy

10 June. 2015 Tightening Labor market pushing up small firms' pricing plans? (Publication Centre)

The May NFIB survey and the April JOLTS report, both released yesterday, paint a coherent, if not yet definitive, picture of labor market developments which should alarm the Fed. The data suggest that the true labor supply, in the eyes of potential employers, is much smaller than implied by the BLS's measures of broad unemployment.

4 May. 2016 Will the March Easter Depress the April ADP Employment Number? (Publication Centre)

The official payroll numbers seem not to be consistently affected by seasonal adjustment problems when Easter falls in March, probably because the earliest possible date for the holiday, the 23rd, comes long after the payroll data are captured. The BLS data cover the week of the 12th.

4 Dec. 2014 - November Data Might Hide Underlying Labor Market Strength (Publication Centre)

The ADP report yesterday has not changed our view that tomorrow's payroll number will be about 180K, well below our estimate of the underlying trend, which is about 250K. ADP's numbers are heavily influenced by the BLS data for the prior month, and tell us little or nothing about the next official report.

8 Jan. 2015 - Payroll Still Set for Big December Gain - ADP is Unreliable (Publication Centre)

We aren't revising our payroll forecast in the wake of the ADP report, which showed private payrolls rising by 241K in December. We expected a bigger increase because ADP tends to lag the official data for the previous month, and the BLS reported a 314K jump in private employment in November, but the "shortfall" is too small to matter.

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