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2 June. 2016 ADP Likely to be Constrained by the Verizon Strike (Publication Centre)

We think today's ADP private sector employment report for May will reflect the impact of the Verizon strike, which kept 35K people away from work last month, but we can't be sure. ADP's methodology should in theory only capture the strike if Verizon uses ADP for payroll processing--we don't know--but there's nothing to stop them from manually tweaking the numbers to account for known events. Indeed, it would be absurd to ignore the strike.

3 June. 2016 May Payrolls Constrained By Verizon Strike, but Should be OK (Publication Centre)

The downside surprise in April payrolls reflected weakness in just three components--retail, construction, and government--compared to their prior trends. Of these, we think only the construction numbers are likely to remain soft in May. Had it not been for the Verizon strike, then, we would have expected payrolls to rise by just over 200K in May, but the 35K strike hit means our forecast is 170K.

6 July. 2016 ISM Non-manufacturing Jobs Should Rebound, but How Far? (Publication Centre)

The shock of the weak May payroll report means that the June numbers this week will come under even greater scrutiny than usual. We are not optimistic that a substantial rebound is coming immediately. The headline number will be better than in May, because the 35K May drag from the Verizon strike will reverse.

26 May. 2016 Favorable Post-Easter Seasonals Signal Upside Risk for April Orders (Publication Centre)

Another day, another couple of April reports likely to reverse March "weakness", triggered by the early Easter. We look for robust core durable goods and pending home sales reports, with the odds favoring consensus-beating numbers. In both cases, though, the noise-to-signal ratio is quite high, and we can't be certain the Easter seasonal unwind will be the dominant force in the April data.

7 July. 2016 June ADP Set to be Constrained by Weak May Payroll Data (Publication Centre)

We have argued frequently that the ADP employment report is not a reliable advance payroll indicator--see our Monitor of May 4, for example-- so for now we'll just note that it is generated by a regression model which includes a host of nonpayroll data and the official jobs numbers from the previous month. It is not based solely on reports from employers who use ADP for payroll processing, despite ADP's best efforts to insinuate that it is.

8 July. 2016 June Payrolls Should be Better than May, but no Return to Trend Yet (Publication Centre)

We have had a modest rethink of our June payroll forecast and have nudged up our number to 150K, still below the 180K consensus. Our forecast has changed because we have re-estimated some of our models, not because of the 172K increase in the ADP measure of private payrolls. ADP is a model-based estimate, not a reliable survey indicator.

9 May. 2016 Payrolls Will Rebound--Maybe not in May--and Wages Are Rising (Publication Centre)

The undershoot in April payrolls, relative to the consensus, is a story of a fluke number in just one sector. Retail payrolls reportedly shrank by 3K, after rising by an average of 52K over the previous six months. Our first chart shows clearly that the retail payrolls are quite volatile over short periods, with sudden and often inexplicable swings in both directions quite common.

26 June 2017 Markets are Telling Themselves a Story, Shame it's a Fairytale (Publication Centre)

The core economic narrative in U.S. markets right now seems to run something like this: The pace of growth slowed in Q1, depressing the rate of payroll growth in the spring. As a result, the headline plunge in the unemployment rate is unlikely to persist and, even if it does, the wage pressures aren't a threat to the inflation outlook.

14 July 2017 Core CPI Inflation Won't Fall Forever, but When Will the Rebound Come? (Publication Centre)

Today brings a huge wave of data, but most market attention will be on the June CPI, following the run of unexpectedly soft core readings over the past three months.

13 October 2017 Did the Hurricanes Lift September's Core CPI, as well as the Headline? (Publication Centre)

Three separate stories will come together to generate today's September core CPI number. First, we wonder if the hurricanes will lift the core CPI.

15 May 2017 Core Inflation Surprises Again, but the Trend Likely has not Turned (Publication Centre)

The failure of the core CPI to mean-revert in April, after the unexpected March drop, does not mean that the Fed can relax.

11 July. 2016 Jobs Overstate Economic Volatility, Wages Will Soon Matter More (Publication Centre)

Whatever you might think about the state of the U.S. economy, it is not as volatile as implied by the past few months' payroll numbers. Assuming steady productivity growth in line with the recent trend, the payroll data suggest the economy swung from bust to boom in one month, with not even a pause for breath.

12 May 2017 Core CPI Inflation to Mean-Revert After the Shocking March Drop (Publication Centre)

The April CPI report today will be watched even more closely than usual, after the surprise 0.12% month-to-month fall in the March core index. The biggest single driver of the dip was a record 7.0% plunge in cellphone service plan prices, reflecting Verizon's decision to offer an unlimited data option.

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