- JOLTS makes history. April figures released yesterday showed that the number of job openings, at 6.7 million, topped the number of unemployed people (6.3 million) for the first time in the report’s 18-year history; prior peak was 0.7. Openings in manufacturing and services increased, though the number of hires was little changed. Labor turnover remained fairly static overall. Net employment rose 2.4 million for the month, indicating the labor market continues to tighten as the economic cycle continues to progress.
- Services data surprise to the upside. Both ISM non-manufacturing and Markit services came in better than expected, with backlogs in non-manufacturing orders hitting a record high and growth in services activity accelerating at rates not seen in three years. Inflation pressures increased as input costs rose, but robust demand and the order backlog, in conjunction with a tight labor market, point to continued upside for the U.S. economy.
- ECB to end QE? Recent headlines are suggesting the European Central Bank (ECB) could begin serious discussions about the timetable for ending its bond purchase program when it meets next week. However, recent data out of the Eurozone have been fairly weak, and recent political turmoil in Italy, causing yields on its sovereign debt to spike dramatically, may also help stay the central bank’s hand a while longer. Members will be keeping an eye on Italy’s government, and bond yields for signs of stabilization before finalizing a timetable.
Monitoring the Week Ahead
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- Trade Balance (Apr)
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- Japan: GDP (Q1)
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