Posts Tagged ‘optimism

07
Jul
11

but where are the jobs?

Reuters: U.S. private employers added far more jobs than expected in June, bouncing back from a surprise slump the month before, a report by payrolls processor ADP showed on Thursday.

The private sector added 157,000 jobs last month, exceeding expectations for a gain of 68,000, according to a Reuters survey of economists.

…. U.S. stock index futures added to gains following the report, while the dollar gained more ground against the yen.

Friday’s jobs report is expected to show a modest rise in overall nonfarm payrolls of 90,000 for last month and a gain in private payrolls of 110,000….

On Wednesday, a stable employment reading from the Institute for Supply Management’s service sector survey suggested employment growth later in the year….. More here

Bloomberg: U.S. stock-index futures extended gains after an industry report showed companies added more jobs than forecast in June, bolstering confidence in the economic recovery…. More here

*****

Bloomberg: U.S. initial jobless claims fell for the first time in three weeks, a sign the labor market is making a little headway.

Jobless claims fell by 14,000 to 418,000 in the week ended July 2, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg News survey called for a drop to 420,000. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls and those getting extended payments also declined.

06
Jul
11

looking up

15
Jun
11

positive signs

AP: Americans are finally getting some relief from high gas and food prices.

Wholesale food prices fell last month by the most in nearly a year, and gas prices keep dropping after peaking in May. A separate survey suggests CEOs are feeling more optimistic and will hire more in the second half of this year. It amounted to welcome news after a rough patch that has stoked worries the economic recovery is slowing…

Food prices at the wholesale level fell 1.4 percent, the Labor Department said. It was the largest drop since last June….

…Gas prices at the wholesale level rose in May by the smallest amount in eight months. At the pump, they’re coming down. On Tuesday, the national average was $3.70 a gallon, according to AAA. Gas has fallen steadily since the national average almost hit $4 a gallon in early May….

…There were some encouraging signs that hiring could pick up in the second half of the year. The Business Roundtable, which represents CEOs for the 200 biggest U.S. companies, said 51 percent of chief executives plan to step up hiring in the second half of the year.

Last quarter, the figure was 52 percent said they planned to hire more over the following six months, the highest since the trade group began polling its members in 2002.

…ManpowerGroup, one of the nation’s largest staffing companies, said the proportion of businesses that plan to hire in the next three months is higher than at any time since the end of 2008, during the recession.

Full article here

Thank you Dotser – as she put it, “I see there must have been infiltrators at the AP who allowed a positive economic story to get through the conservative guards there” ;-)

10
Jun
11

not that we should trust economists, but…..

Bloomberg: Slowdowns in consumer spending and employment will prove temporary, giving way to a U.S. growth rebound in the second half of 2011, economists surveyed by Bloomberg News said.

After growing at a 2.3 percent annual pace this quarter, the world’s largest economy will expand at a 3.2 percent rate from July through December, according to the median forecast of 67 economists polled from June 1 to June 8.

Rising exports, stable fuel prices, record levels of cash in company coffers and easier lending rules will be enough to overcome the damage done by one-time events like poor weather and the disaster in Japan….

“The economic headwinds are well known, but if you look at the tailwinds, they are still pretty strong,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc. “There are a lot of reasons to be fairly upbeat about the recovery. Growth will pick up in the second half.”

….Increasing overseas demand is another reason for optimism ….. Exports climbed to a record in April, Commerce Department figures showed yesterday….

More here

12
May
11

progress

Marketwatch: Applications for unemployment compensation fell sharply last week, partly reversing a large spike earlier in April and suggesting some improvement in U.S. hiring trends.

The number of people who filed initial requests for jobless benefits fell by 44,000 to a seasonally adjusted 434,000 in the week ended May 7, the Labor Department said Thursday

11
Apr
11

‘in a survey of bosses, good news for job seekers’

NYT: American companies say they plan to hire. If they do as they say, the unemployment picture will brighten considerably.

In a quarterly survey of chief executives, the Business Roundtable found that 52 percent of companies planned to hire workers in the United States over the next six months, while just 11 percent said they expected to reduce employment.

Never before have so many chief executives said they planned to hire, or so few said they planned to cut payrolls. The survey has been taken every three months since late 2002.

The Business Roundtable includes chief executives of 200 major American companies. If most of them did add workers, that would almost certainly have a substantial effect on employment in the country. Two other broader surveys of companies are taken each month by the Institute for Supply Management. Its survey of manufacturers has been showing more companies planning to increase employment than reduce it since the fall of 2009, and indeed manufacturing employment rose in 2010 for the first full year since 1997, according to the Labor Department.

….In response to another question, 92 percent of the chief executives said they expected increases in sales for their companies, while none said they expected a decline. It was the first time that none of the executives thought sales would decline.

Full article here

07
Apr
11

rusty’s going to be in tears again….

Marketwatch: The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week fell by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 382,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected new applications for jobless benefits to drop to 385,000. The average of new claims over the past four weeks, meanwhile, declined by 5,750 to 389,500. The Labor Department also reported that the number of Americans who continue to receive state unemployment checks decreased by 9,000 to 3.72 million in the week of March 26, the lowest level since October 2008. Altogether, 8.52 million people received some kind of state or federal benefit in the week of March 19, down nearly 246,000 from the prior week.

***

In case you missed last night’s update (below): I did it again, I ventured in to Teapublican territory on the interwebs just to see how they were reacting to yet more Boehner tears. They are not happy bunnies:

“Now I am envisioning him welling up and boo-hooing at this very moment in front of Reid and Obama. All they have to do is tell him how much they respect and admire him. They’ll have him down to one billion in cuts by eleven p.m.”

“God help us. We need someone with ice water in his veins, not mother’s milk.”

“Come on, GOP; dump this guy. He is an embarrassment.”

“C’mon man, enough with the damn crying.”

“Recall how obama threw him a bone during the SOTU message. He didn’t dry up for a day.”

“Oh Geez. Get a Grip, Boner!”

“OMG”

“john boohoo is not the man to lead us out of this disaster. He needs to step down – ASAP!”

“WTF? I understand crying once, say at a soldier’s memorial or something, but over every single thing?”

:lol:

30
Mar
11

‘optimism among u.s. chief executives tops pre-slump high’

Bloomberg: Optimism among U.S. chief executive officers surpassed the highest level reached before the recession as more business leaders projected increased sales, investment and hiring, a survey showed.

The Business Roundtable’s economic outlook index increased to 113 in the first quarter, the highest point since records began in 2002 … Readings greater than 50 coincide with an economic expansion. The previous peak was 104 in the first three months of 2005.

“Companies have given strong signals about their willingness to expand,” said Ivan Seidenberg, chairman of the Business Roundtable. “As we keep a steady flow of capital investment, we’ll certainly see sales forecasts go up, and as we do that we’ll start to see hiring.”

None of the 142 CEOs surveyed said they expected a decline in sales in the next six months, and 92 percent projected an increase, paving the way for more hiring and investment in equipment. A gain in capital spending plans points to further strength in manufacturing, the industry that’s propelled the economic expansion.

…Fifty-two percent of CEOs said they will add to payrolls, up from 45 percent in the fourth quarter and the largest share on record. Some 62 percent said they plan to spend more on equipment, up from 59 percent.

The business leaders’ forecast supports March employment data. Companies in the U.S. added 201,000 workers this month after a revised 208,000 gain in February…

05
Mar
11

‘the recovery is gaining momentum’

President Obama arrives back at the White House after a trip to Florida  March 4

Washington Post: The missing piece of the U.S. economic recovery – job creation – is finally falling into place.

Employers added 192,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate edged down to 8.9 percent from 9 percent, marking the third straight month of decline.

The jobs report was the most promising since the recession began more than three years ago and the most solid evidence yet that the recovery is gaining momentum.

….economists and executives see the new data as confirmation of an underlying trend that had been visible anecdotally and in various other surveys: Private employers are gaining confidence and beginning to hire.

…The unemployment rate has now declined nearly a full percentage point since November, the steepest drop over a three-month span since 1983.

Many analysts had viewed the rapid decline in the unemployment rate in December and January as too good to be true, expecting the February number to inch back up to 9.1 percent.

…hiring in the private sector was strong and broad-based. Private employers added 222,000 jobs … Every major sector of private industry except retail added positions….

Since late last year, the monthly reports had provided a muddied picture of the U.S. economy. But the quicker pace of job gains reported Friday now matches other encouraging measures of growth, such as surveys of businesses and weekly reports on unemployment insurance benefits.

“It’s a very fair representation of where the economy is,” said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo.

Full article here

NYT: “Economic recoveries can be like a snowball rolling down a hill, in that it takes time to get some momentum,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics. “People hesitate until they feel that the recovery’s durable enough, and then they have a tendency to jump in. Maybe we’re finally getting to that jumping-in moment.”

….Threats to a more robust recovery remain, of course, including a surge in energy and food prices, …. but for now, the improvement is notable….

Economists say the unemployment rate could rise temporarily in the next few months, as stronger job growth lures some discouraged workers to look for jobs again…….federal employees may also be at risk of significant layoffs if Republican leaders in Congress are successful with their proposed budget cuts. Economists at Goldman Sachs and elsewhere have warned that such budget cuts could ripple through the economy and lead to layoffs in the private sector.

Full article here

27
Feb
11

‘our best days lie ahead’

BBC: The billionaire investor, Warren Buffett, has urged Americans to ignore “prophets of doom”, and believe that the country’s “best days lie ahead”.

In an upbeat annual letter to the shareholders of his investment firm, Mr Buffett said he was itching to make more large acquisitions. The 26-page missive is seen as an authoritative guide to the state of the world’s biggest economy.

He is one of the world’s wealthiest and most influential investors – as such, his opinion is closely followed.

Despite the American economy struggling to emerge from the recession following the financial crisis, Mr Buffett believes the time is now right to make some major investments. In his annual letter to his Berkshire Hathaway investors, he said his trigger finger was now itchy to invest in new projects, using some of the fund’s 38bn dollars in cash reserves. The news that Mr Buffett is seeking substantial new opportunities will be welcomed by many global investors.

16
Feb
11

‘fed substantially upgrades growth forecasts for 2011’

NYT: The Federal Reserve revealed Wednesday that its policy makers had substantially upgraded their forecasts for how much the United States economy will grow this year, even though they expect that unemployment will remain painfully high for some time.

The core projections of top Fed officials now call for growth of 3.4 percent to 3.9 percent this year, up from the previous forecast of 3 percent to 3.6 percent, released in November. But the grim outlook for the job market was largely unchanged; Fed officials expect unemployment to be 8.8 percent to 9 percent this year, only slightly less than the November estimate of 8.9 percent to 9.1 percent.

Growth expectations were lifted by an improvement in consumer spending in the fourth quarter…

Full article here

04
Feb
11

9.0

WH: Today’s employment report shows that the unemployment rate fell sharply to 9.0 percent and private sector payrolls increased by 50,000 in January. Revisions to private sector payroll data show that 1.1 million jobs were added during 2010, the strongest private sector job growth since 2006. The 0.8 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate over the past two months is a welcome development; however, the rate remains unacceptably high.

More here

Reuters: Despite the conflicting signals in the Labor Department’s report on Friday, economists agreed a recovery in the labor market was proceeding apace if not gaining speed. Many investors also saw the data as a sign of strength …. a household survey, which is used to determine the jobless rate, showed nearly 600,000 more people reported they were employed.

That surge in employment pushed the unemployment rate to 9 percent from 9.4 percent in December. The rate has dropped 0.8 percentage point since November, the biggest two-month decline since 1958.

…Data on manufacturing and retail sales has suggested the economy’s strong momentum continued into the new year. Economists said January’s employment report, excluding the weather effect, was consistent with the economy growing above 3 percent.

“We see significant potential strength in this report and will be looking to see whether the drop in the unemployment rate persists,” said Michael Gapen, an economist a Barclays Capital in New York. “If it does, then it will be a further signal that underlying job growth is stronger than reported and conditions in labor markets are better than advertised by the establishment survey.”

Last month’s drop in the unemployment rate was encouraging because it reflected more people finding work, even after adjustments for updated population controls.

More here

24
Jan
11

headway

USA Today: Economists are more optimistic about the recovery than they were just a few months ago, significantly upgrading their forecasts for 2011 as consumers open their wallets.

When asked to predict, nine of 10 economists said they’re more optimistic than three months ago, according to a USA TODAY survey of 46 economists conducted Jan. 13-19.

….”This growth is now becoming self-reinforcing,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “Businesses are going to take their stronger sales and begin to hire more aggressively, generate more income, and we’re off and running.”

…The economists say the more robust growth will help cut the unemployment rate to 9% by year’s end from 9.4% in December. They expect employers to add 200,000 jobs a month by the second half of the year, more than double last year’s rate.

…the brighter outlook is largely a response to a recent flurry of positive reports. Car and truck sales rose 11.1% last month from the year-ago period. Holiday retail sales appear to have jumped 5%, their best showing since 2005. Factory output is rising. Even the sluggish housing market has picked up.

…cash-rich U.S. corporations are feeling more confident in the recovery’s durability. That will prompt them to hire more, says David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor’s.

Full article here

04
Jan
11

that auto bailout? a disaster! (well, for those who opposed it)

Bloomberg: General Motors, Ford and Chrysler reported sales gains in December that topped analysts’ estimates as demand for the automakers’ new models increased.

GM’s deliveries in the month rose 7.5 percent to 224,185 … the largest U.S. automaker was expected to post a 4.3 percent sales increase, the average of four analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Ford’s sales gained 3.5 percent, topping the 3.3 percent average estimate of five analysts.

“This is a market that’s coming back significantly,” said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with IHS Automotive. “And with really strong products coming from GM, Ford and Chrysler, there’s a lot of opportunity for change in the marketplace.”

….Rising consumer confidence and retail spending bode well for car sales and may help boost 2011 industrywide sales …. Banks are starting to lend more freely, giving buyers with weaker credit an opportunity to purchase new cars…

Full article here

From November – MSNBC: A GM success story? The biggest political story that few are talking about right now? GM’s initial public stock offering … looks like it’s going to be a big success and a case where the government may just make money on this deal. This has the potential of being a very good story for the Obama White House, as well as a success of government intervention. Where would the unemployment rate be in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio if GM not gotten major government assistance?

Meanwhile ….. Bloomberg: American factories unexpectedly received more orders in November, signaling that gains in consumer spending, business investment and exports will sustain the manufacturing recovery.

….Manufacturing has been resilient throughout the recovery as factories are seeing demand improve, pointing to further growth in 2011 … it expanded in December at the fastest pace in seven months…

….Bookings for capital goods, a measure of future business investment, rose 2.6 percent … demand for computers and electronics climbed 6.3 percent, the most since February 2009.

….Rising exports, which reached a two-year high in October, and improving consumer spending has prompted some companies to boost production to meet demand and also increase their own orders to replace aging equipment.

Full article here

03
Jan
11

optimism….

CNN: After three years of economic pain, a growing number of economists think 2011 will finally bring what everyone’s been hoping for: More jobs and a self-sustaining recovery.

“We’re looking at some leading indicators on employment, and they’re all flashing green lights,” said Bernard Baumohl of the Economic Outlook Group…

Though most economists still expect a painfully high unemployment rate of about 9% at the end of this year, some think that stat masks more important signs of strength.

Baumohl and some other economists forecast between 2.5 million and 3 million jobs being added to U.S. payrolls in 2011, about triple the gains likely to be recorded in 2010 and what would be the best one-year jump since the white hot labor market of 1999.

That wouldn’t be enough to climb out of the 8-million job crater created by the Great Recession and won’t bring down the unemployment rate by a significant amount … but the forecasted hiring boom could get the economy back into gear and provide real relief for many Americans.

….The more bullish outlook is widespread. Of the 19 economists who responded to CNNMoney’s surveys at the end of both the third quarter and fourth quarters, 16 had raised their growth forecast for 2011 from three months earlier.

Full article here




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