Analysts at Westpac explained an economic wrap.
“US non-farm payrolls for January recorded a solid but the detail does not compel the Fed to put March on the table. A healthy +227k to start the year for payrolls, above consensus at +180k, and mixed detail – average hourly earnings printed +0.1% (0.3% expected) – while the prior month was revised down 0.2ppts to +0.2%, painting an overall more benign wages picture. Annual benchmark revisions cloud the story. The unemployment rate rose +0.1ppt to 4.8% as participation rose from 62.7% to 62.9%, but that appears to be mostly a function of updated population estimates in the annual benchmark revisions. Household employment fell -30k for example but excluding the updated population controls would have risen a very strong 457k.
On the plus side, month to month payrolls changes in the last few months now portray a firming trend. The 3m average payrolls gain stands at +183k in Jan up handily from +148k last month, the 12m average has also stabilised at +195k, up from +187k. Mild winter weather through the US in Jan does not appear to have flattered the +227k Jan gain, those unable to work due to weather was +395k vs a 405k average for Jan.
The industry detail shows solid above-trend gains in a number of categories too: construction +36k (vs 3m avg +15k), retail trade +46 (vs 3m avg +4k), and finance +32k (vs 3m avg +14k).
Average hourly earnings paint a less threatening picture, up just 0.1%. Downward revisions in the last couple months along with a higher base effect from a year ago leave the annual rate at 2.5%. Last month, before revisions and base effects that figure was +2.9%. The soft read here is all the more unusual given minimum wage increases across a bunch of states took effect in January.
Underemployment rose from 9.2% to 9.4% but again benchmark revisions are a part of the story.
Economic Event Risks Today
Australia has retail sales data which will be the focus of markets during the domestic session. A 0.3% gain in sales for December is expected.”
You may be interested
Binance Coin Price Surges as top Markets Continue to StruggleBrian Evans - Jan 18, 2019
Today has proven to be a rather interesting yet somewhat unusual day for all cryptocurrencies. While all top markets have gone in the red again, select altcoins…
How BlockEx Went From a $24 Million ICO to Layoffs in Less Than a YearBrian Evans - Jan 18, 2019
BlockEx, a London-based platform for launching and exchanging tokens, was beset by a series of setbacks that led to downsizing.
Elon Musk under Fire: Why GM Could Pass Tesla as Most Valuable US Car MakerBrian Evans - Jan 18, 2019
Billionaire Elon Musk must be feeling the heat now that General Motors appears on track to surpass Tesla to become the most valuable US car maker for 2019.…