Labor markets, and trade talks

Posted by: Paul Donovan

01 Feb 2019
  • US Fed Chair Powell's TV sensation now gives way to some economic reality, with the publication of the US employment report. This is survey based, much revised, and average hourly earnings is not (whatever the media might claim) the same thing as wages. Which is why it is not called wages. But most labor market data is showing a strong US employment situation, helping US consumers consume.
  • Is it time to break out the beautiful chocolate cake again? US President Trump wants another meeting with Chinese President Xi to talk trade. The US president does seem to be aware that tariffs amount to a tax on equities, and is keen to do some kind of deal.
  • US-China trade talks so far are said to have made progress. The most likely outcome would seem to be a moderate deal (along the lines EU president Juncker managed to persuade US President Trump to agree to). That would still allow criticism of China during the 2020 US election campaign.
  • The Eurozone is releasing consumer price inflation numbers. The headline rate may show some drag from energy; the core number is expected to be stable.

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