Bond Markets Cautious Ahead of Employment
After months of waiting for the Employment Report to indicate labor growth in the economy, it looks like it will finally happen … on a day when equity markets are closed.
Bond markets are, however, open for a half-day, so some sort of market reaction to the month’s most important data numbers can be seen. Ahead of the release, the benchmark 10-year note is trading five basis points higher at 3.87%, reflecting caution among investors.
The consensus is to see that a whopping 200,000 net jobs were created in the month, versus a net loss of 36k in February. No economists look for a decline as the range of predictions is from 75k to 300k. Sadly, the unemployment isn’t set to budge from 9.7%.
The ADP report from Wednesday was a disappointment. Instead of growing 40k private jobs in the economy, 23k were shed, the report indicated.
With government census jobs thrown into the mix, there’s not much doubt that the jobs base grew in March, but economists and investors won’t be optimistic about the economy if nothing but temporary hiring gives the report a boost.
Analysts from BBVA suggest the census jobs will add 150k to the headline number. They also expect the manufacturing sector to “add jobs for the third consecutive month in order to satisfy the increase in demand.”
Economists from RDQ said the report should be driven by a mix of fundamental and technical boosts. Fundamental factors include positive employment in yesterday’s ISM manufacturing report and the 4-week average for jobless claims dropping to 447k. Technical factors are related to weather and the census impact.
Similarly, economists from IHS Global Insight say weather could throw a curveball in the report.
“Nobody knows how big the weather losses were, but they were probably at least 50,000. Stripping out Census and weather effects, we would expect a small, but still positive, change in underlying employment, which would be good news – just not as good as the headline 200,000 figure would suggest.”
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