The international distress call is going out from Europe as the overall eurozone unemployment rate reached 12.1%. Germany had a low rate of 5.4% while Spain was more than 27%. So how is the ECB to do deal with the huge discrepancy between the economic performance of its 17 members? If the austerians are being relegated to economic purgatory then the pressure on the ECB to act will be diminished. Cutting rates for the sake of a show of action will be a detraction from the bigger political issue. Why irritate the Bundesbank and Chancellor Merkel by moving the ECB lending rate by a measly 25 basis points?
Posts Tagged ‘unemployment’
Tomorrow is UNEMPLOYMENT FRIDAY and the markets are geared up for headline driven action. The U.S. jobs report is expected to be 145,000 nonfarm payrolls and a rate of 8.2%, no change in the length of the work week at 34.4 hours and average hourly earnings rising 0.2%. The most significant data points will be manufacturing and construction jobs. Last month’s manufacturing jobs growth was weak and an increase is needed to put a more positive flavor to the report. I bring up construction jobs only because the HOUSING STOCK PRICES have risen dramatically and if homebuilders are increasing their work load then construction employment ought to be increasing–just looking for some synthesis between the real economy and stocks.
Before NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND continues on, let’s take a break to see where we’ve been. Here are two posts from early August:
August 8: Draghi … Could’ve, Would’ve, Should’ve
As everybody reading and/or listening to financial news all week knows, tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. CST the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the unemployment report, which has been deemed as the most important data since …….????? The consensus is now for a nonfarm payroll increase of 170,000, the RATE TO STAY AT 8.2% and average hourly earnings to increase 0.2%. After Wednesday’s ADP data, the market has lowered its NFP expectations and thus, a consensus number of 170,000 will be a positive for the EQUITY markets, positive for the DOLLAR and meaningless for the BONDS.
In a comment directed toward the European peripherals, Pimco’s Bill Gross said that Greece was a zit, Portugal a boil, and Spain a tumor. Readers of NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND know that Spain has been on the radar for a long time. The growth numbers or lack of growth, rather, hampered by severe austerity budgets have generated ADVERSE FEEDBACK LOOPS that have rendered all economic projections null and void. When austerity bites, all growth forecasts are cast asunder. Staying with Gross’s almost biblical references, I suggest looking at Europe though the lens of the TEN PLAGUES.
While I was away, Mr. 37 revealed that he is a 37er so the markets OUGHT to take very seriously Ben Bernanke’s PROMISE to Milton Friedman that the FED will not make the mistakes of 1937 again. In the interview with Diane Sawyer and the speech delivered at The National Association For Business Economics on Monday, the Fed chairman displayed his 37er credentials in full force.
First with a hat tip to RF for e-mailing the JOKE of the DAY:
Overheard in the Athens Airport:
Greek Immigration Official:Nationality?
Greek Immigration Official: Occupation?
Tourist: No. Just On Holiday
As the news came out on Friday morning, the headline reported that the unemployment rate dropped to 8.6% from 9%–at first glance, the rate looked like 98.6 on the economic thermometer. The analysts are still arguing over the meaning of this data, but for traders and investors the real outcome is meaningless. It may lead to foreign investors purchasing U.S. equities as America is seen to be a relatively stronger economy, especially when compared with the EUROPEAN CREDIT-STRESSED environment.
It was a day of dueling flapjawing as the European elite was out talking about everything that needs to be done to save the EURO and Sarkozy promising that there would not be any European defaults. Again to paraphrase Jimmy Breslin: Sarkozy is a little man in search of a balcony. The time for public orations is past and the call to action is immediate and real. Global investors don’t want any more rhetoric. Next Friday is considered the day of reckoning but if the EUROCRATS have any sense all the needed policy will have been put in place by the December 9th meeting so that the markets will have absorbed the “shock and awe” and there will be no disappointment.