Some Common Cents for June 2nd, 2017

This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released The Employment Situation report for the month of May 2017. I will cut to the quick, and tell you it might be one of the more boring releases of its type I have ever read. So much so, I felt sorry for the folks who had to compile the data by the time I finished reading the thing.

In a lot of ways, I found it similar to, say, one of Nicholas Sparks’ books. Yep, I kind knew how the report would end when I first picked it up. Except the ending of The Employment Situation was ‘Table B-9. Indexes of aggregate weekly hours and payrolls for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted,’ as opposed to a well-telegraphed, melodramatic plot machination (usually involving either the death or sickness of a loved one/interest). Indeed. To say there was an element of ‘déjà vu all over again’ would be an understatement.

But, wasn’t there anything in the report which shed some kind of new light on the economy, etc.? Absolutely not. It suggested a modestly growing GDP, coupled with modest earnings growth. It was the economic report equivalent of conference/banquet chicken.

With that said, it is/was likely decent enough to keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise the overnight lending target at its next official FOMC meeting on 6/14/2017. In all probability, according to the futures market, the Fed will increase the overnight lending target rate between member banks 0.25% (25 basis points) to take the ‘range’ to 1.00-1.25% from the current 0.75- 100%. In fact, the odds are so overwhelming the Fed will do just that the markets will likely freak out a little if it doesn’t. The direction will depend on what the official statement says after the meeting. …Read More…

The opinions expressed within this report are those of John Norris as of the initial publication of this blog. They are subject to change without notice, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oakworth Capital Bank, its directors, shareholders, and employees.