This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 02 October 2020

By: Taro Chellaram /Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report/Sep 29, 2020

This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 02 October 2020

U.S. - Recovery Keeps Trudging Along

  • In what was a jam-packed week of economic data, the jobs report, prospects of additional fiscal stimulus and the president’s positive COVID-19 test result commanded markets’ attention.
  • Nonfarm employers added 661K jobs in September. But with layoff announcements coming from household-name companies this week, attention has already shifted to the tenuous labor market recovery ahead.
  • Personal incomes faltered in August, due almost entirely to the expiration of supplemental unemployment benefits at the end of July. Personal spending, however, eked out another gain.

 

Global - China Continues to Lead the Global Recovery

China’s economy continues to rebound from the COVID-19 shock and lead the global economic recovery. This week, the manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMIs outperformed relative to expectations, providing additional evidence of a more robust economic recovery in China.

 

Economic and Sentiment Data in India Show Life

This week, India’s manufacturing PMI recorded one of the steepest rises on record, jumping to 56.8 in September, a noteworthy rise from August. In addition, India’s current account as a percentage of GDP flipped to a surplus in Q2, the first quarterly surplus since 2005.




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As of this writing, the outcome of the U.S. presidential election is undecided. Joe Biden, however, appears likely to become president based off of his growing lead in several key states.

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September\'s disappointing employment report clearly takes center stage over this week\'s other economic reports. Nonfarm employment rose by just 194,000 jobs, as employers continue to have trouble finding the workers they need.

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Economic data came in largely as expected this week and suggest continued economic recovery.

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The longest U.S. economic expansion since the end of the Second World War came to an abrupt end earlier this year as the COVID pandemic essentially shut down the economy.

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A recent strong report from the National Association of Homebuilders set the tone for another round of strong housing data. The NAHB index rose two points to a record high 85.

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Markets gyrated this week as the spread between the ten- and two-year Treasury\'s turned negative for the first time since 2007. Financial markets seem to expect that the sharp slowdown in growth overseas will soon spread to the United States.

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Markets were also pressured from the latest ISM manufacturing report, which signaled further deterioration in the sector with the index falling to its lowest level since 2009.

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The Fed expects to hold interest rates near zero through the end of this year, perhaps well into next year, and maybe even into ’22.


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