This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 03 September 2021

By: Taro Chellaram /Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report/Sep 10, 2021

This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 03 September 2021

One more month of wicked heat here in Houston, then fall arrives.  We move into the Labor Day weekend celebrating the 235K jobs added in August, while simultaneously lamenting that it was about half a million jobs short of expectations. For financial markets, who were hanging on every indication of the labor market as a clue to eventual Fed tapering, this report did not shout "substantial further progress." Other economic indicators this week were emblematic of the crosscurrents confronting the U.S. economy as it transitions from the vaccine- & stimulus-fueled surge in activity earlier in the year to a yet-to-be-determined new normal.




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The global mobility playing field is equalizing. Major European countries such as Germany and France have seen a slowdown in recent weeks, leaving them right in line with the United States relative to the January baseline.

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An inter-meeting rate cut by the FOMC did little to stem financial market volatility, as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continued to climb.

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The Wells Fargo Economics team notes in the Commentary that new COVID cases in New Zealand disrupted the Reserve Bank of New Zealand\'s plan to tighten monetary policy this week.

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Consumer momentum remains largely intact, inflation continues to inch back down, albeit at a slower pace, and rate-sensitive sectors stayed in a holding pattern.

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Nonfarm payrolls expanded 303K in March, surpassing all estimates submitted to Bloomberg. The continued strength in hiring suggests less urgency for policymakers at the Federal Reserve to lower the target range of the fed funds rate.

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The Federal Reserve reduced the fed funds rate 25 bps this week, continuing to cite economic weakness overseas and muted inflation pressures.

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Economic data continue to suggest the U.S. economy is only gradually losing momentum. Consumers continue to spend, and industrial and housing activity are seeing some stabilization.

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Retail sales rose just 0.1% over the month, falling short of consensus and suggesting that consumers may finally be feeling some spending fatigue.

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The housing sector has borne the brunt of the Fed\'s efforts to slow the economy, and this week\'s data showed the industry continues to reel.

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CPI increases continue to sizzle like this weekend’s temperature, putting consumers in a worse mood than Texas Rangers fans (with their 9.5 games back $500 million middle infield).


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