Key Economic Measures Indicate Continued Strong Expansion, Although Employment Data Disappoints

Oct 08, 2021 | Nick Scholte


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Two consecutive months of disappointing employment data bears watching, but its likely a result of the delta covid wave in the U.S.. That particular wave has now clearly peaked and rolled over.

To my clients:

It was an up week for North American stock markets with the Canadian TSX finishing up 1.3%; the U.S. Dow Jones Index up 1.2%; and the U.S. S&P 500 up 0.8%.

After a few weeks of meatier than usual updates, it will be a brief one this week (and, if I’m being honest, I’m pressed for time!). So, getting to it in point format:

- The U.S. Congress reached an agreement to minimally raise the debt ceiling so as to allow negotiations to continue for another two months. While this was welcome news and markets traded up as a result, the fact is it won’t be long until worries over the December deadline start to creeping into the market outlook. As with the deadline just extended, I’d urge clients to disregard the noise that will surround this event.

- Like the Manufacturing report released last Friday, at 61.9 the ISM Services Index released on Tuesday of this week also came in ahead of expectations in the 60’s. A reminder that readings of 60 or above for either of these metrics is exceptionally strong. Both being in the 60’s is even more encouraging.

- On the other hand, the U.S. Employment Report disappointed for the second straight month. Instead of the 500,000 new jobs expected, the U.S. only managed to create 194,000. This disappointing result was partially offset by the +131,000 upward revision to last month’s report. Two straight months of significant misses in this key economic release bears watching, although for now I’d consider the weakness to be a Delta fueled anomaly. The Employment data was taken mid-September when the delta covid wave peaked. Since then, the peak has clearly rolled over and is now in steady decline.

That’s it for this week. Happy Thanksgiving and all the best,

Nick

Nick Scholte, CIM, FCSI

Vice-President & Portfolio Manager

Scholte Wealth Management
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