This week was a slow week for economic data. The two main pieces of economic data received were the revised second quarter GDP data and the weekly unemployment claims data. Both were remarkable in their own way. There was time this week to examine the Current Population Survey and the Current Employment Statistics data so a August Jobs Report forecast article could be written.
(August 29) The first revision to the second quarter GDP data was released this past Wednesday. The pundits had expected a downward revision to the data. That is not what happened. "Second Quarter GDP, Second Look" details how the personal consumption expenditures were revised lower, gross private domestic investments were revised up from from a negative value to a positive value, exports were revised slightly lower, Imports were revised down from growth to contraction, and government consumption was revised higher than their advance values were originally reported. Same quarter growth was revised higher to 2.9%.
(August 30) The still produce weekly unemployment claims reports. This week was the twelfth week that the non-seasonally adjusted first-time unemployment claims was recorded under 200,000 claims. "Twelfth Week First-time Claims Under 200,000" detailed the weeks that we have recorded a value under 200,000 claims, the truth that the last time we had this many weeks under 200,000 was 1973, and that we could see the seasonally adjusted first-time reported under 200,000 claims within the next two weeks.
(August 31) Next Friday we will receive the August Employment Situation Report, or Jobs Report. There are a number of ways to examine the data. The problem is that there are two data sets that measure different things. This month the two data sets are out of sync. The Current Employment Statistics (CES) data should record and report a strong private sector worker number. The Current Population Survey (CPS) should show a huge loss of Summer jobs, full-time and part-time, non-seasonally adjusted (NSA.) We should also see a large drop in unemployed workers recorded. The seasonally adjusted (SA) CPS data may reveal a net creation of jobs while the unemployment numbers still fall. We should see a strong SA CES "Jobs" number and a seasonally adjusted drop in both unemployment and participation. Almost all sectors should add seasonally adjusted workers month to month and year to year. We are seeing strong rolling year growth for private sector workers. We need to watch the seasonal factor that is used to convert the NSA data to the reported SA value. We also need to watch the revisions to the prior data. If July sees an upward revision of 30,000 that would "borrow" 30,000 workers from August. A Seriously solid number of 300,000 could be reported as a good 270,000. Up for the CES data could be down for the CPS data. "Auspicious August Jobs Report Forecast" examines this in detail.
The economic data has been good. The coverage of the economic data has not been good. There has been too much TDS: Trump derangement Syndrome, Tesla Derangement Syndrome, Twitter Derangement Syndrome, Tariff Derangement Syndrome, and Tired of Winning Syndrome.
It's the economy.
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