This is getting out of control.
Sales are slowing faster than inventories are being sold.
A weak print and year over year growth continues to decelerate as per the chart:
Headline weakness masks an otherwise solid employment report for January. Nonfarm payrolls rose 151,000 vs expectations for 188,000. December was revised 30,000 lower to 262,000 but November was revised 28,000 higher to 280,000. Now the signs of strength as the unemployment rate fell 1 tenth to 4.9 percent while the participation rate rose 1 tenth to 62.7 percent. In another sign of strength, the average workweek rose to 34.6 hours to end a long run at 34.5 hours. Average hourly earnings rose a very sharp 0.5 percent though the monthly gain didn’t make for any change in the year-on-year rate which holds steady at a still moderate 2.5 percent.
Manufacturing stands out in the industry data pointing to a strong January for the sector. Manufacturing hours rose in the month while payrolls jumped 29,000 for the best showing since November 2014. Retail trade, up 58,000, also posted its best gain since November 2014. Transportation & warehousing, in a sign of strength for the supply chain, rose 45,000 for the strongest showing since December 2012. On the negative side are temporary help services, down 25,000 but following strong gains in prior months. Government payrolls fell 7,000 as did mining where employment, hit by the drop in oil and commodity prices, was in contraction throughout 2015.
The labor market may be backing off slightly so far this year but it continues to approach full employment, a factor underscored by the month’s jump in hourly earnings and which offers support for further Federal Reserve rate hikes. Note that the big snow storm that hit the East Coast during the month came after the sample week and was not a factor in the data.
Yes, there was a monthly gain in the household survey, but on a year over year basis it decelerated from last month and the downtrend remains intact:
Wage growth remains well below prior lows and is only back to where it peaked in 2014:
The trade gap continues to widen even as the price of oil remains low, as exports weaken:
The nation’s trade deficit widened in December to $43.4 billion from a revised $42.2 billion in November. Exports have been extremely weak and weakened further, down 0.3 percent to $181.5 billion in the month. Exports of civilian aircraft fell sharply with exports of industrial supplies and foods/feeds/beverages also down. Imports rose 0.3 percent to $224.9 billion led by autos and industrial supplies and offsetting a decline for non-auto consumer goods.
Country balances show a $3.4 billion narrowing with China to a $27.9 billion monthly gap and little change with the E.U. at $13.7 billion. The gap with Japan widened by $0.9 billion to $6.6 billion while the gap with Mexico narrowed by $0.7 billion to $4.6 billion. The gap with Canada widened sharply by $1.7 billion to $2.2 billion.
The decline in exports is the latest hard evidence of global effects made more severe for U.S. exporters by the strength of the dollar, but the rise in imports, despite the decline in consumer goods, offers a positive indication on domestic demand, strength underscored this morning by the January employment report.