What We Learned Last Week
- At the top of the list, jobless claims stayed at record lows and haven’t batted an eye at all the fearful sentiment. Car sales drove off the beaten path to 18.2 million units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate—not an omen of recession. Manufacturing, still feeling the cutbacks in the shale oil fields and maybe slower export growth, remains in the slow lane. Hiring (not layoffs) slowed in August and September, which is counter to the ADP survey and expectations of upward revisions to August’s low-side initial estimate. However, unemployment keeps creeping down, long-term unemployment is close to vanishing and involuntary part-time is falling steadily and is now halfway back to normal. The percent of people under the age of 45 with jobs is coming back but still is only 60 percent of the way back to where it was before the recession.
What We Expect to See in the Week Ahead
- Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes and international trade figures are expected this week.