Saturday, 5 November 2005

US job growth disappoints, but other data stronger

US job growth in October was a disappointment, as Reuters reports.

Only 56,000 U.S. jobs were created in October, about half the number expected as the impact of Hurricane Katrina faded, but wages grew at the strongest pace in 2-1/2 years, a government report on Friday showed.

Though the Labor Department also revised down total job growth for the two prior months, it said the October national unemployment rate eased to 5 percent from 5.1 percent, implying the job market remained solid...

The Labor Department revised August and September data to show that 36,000 fewer jobs were created in the two months than previously thought. It said there were 148,000 new jobs in August instead of 211,000 and that 8,000 jobs were lost in September instead of 35,000...

The 0.5 percent pickup in average hourly earnings to $16.27 from $16.19 in September was the largest gain since a matching 0.5 percent in February 2003, department officials said. That caused concern among some analysts that policy-makers could see it as an inflation threat.

There was also employment data coming out of Europe yesterday.

Euro-zone seasonally-adjusted unemployment stood at 8.4% in September 2005, compared to 8.5% in August. It was 8.8% in September 2004. The EU25 unemployment rate was 8.6% in September 2005, unchanged compared to August. It was 9.0% in September 2004.

And PPI data from Europe show that it also has inflation worries.

The euro-zone industrial producer price index rose by 0.5% in September 2005 compared with the previous month. In September 2005, EU25 prices also increased by 0.5%. In August, prices gained 0.4% in the euro-zone and 0.5% in the EU25.

In September 2005 compared to September 2004, industrial producer prices increased by 4.4% in the euro-zone and by 5.3% in the EU25.

The economic strength behind these numbers are corroborated by data on German manufacturing orders, which rose 2.8 percent in September after falling 3.8 percent the previous month, and by the RBS/NTC eurozone service sector business activity index, which rose to 54.9 in October from 54.7 in September.

And the latest data from Japan shows that household spending there did not do too badly after all, rising a real 1.0 percent in September from a year earlier, the first year-on-year increase in six months.

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