Perspectives Blog

Snow job!

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | January 13, 2014

The Nonfarm Payroll report for December showed weaknesses that cannot be easily dismissed. Participation rate continues to fall; in the last year the labor force shrunk by a half-million. Beyond unusual weather-related effects, discomforting trends continue to show stress in the labor markets. The Nonfarm Payroll report for December was certainly an outlier showing payrolls rose a mere 74k (far below consensus of 197k). The private sector adde…

Steady as she goes

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | April 7, 2014

…indications either that job gains or growth is accelerating, other than to the 2% to 3% range expected. Nonfarm payrolls rose 192k in March with the 2 month net revision showing an additional 37k payrolls. The Q1 average gain of 178K is now pretty much back in line with prior quarterly gains of 198K in Q4 and 172K in Q3 and the 12 month average of 187K. So job growth really saw only a modest dent from weather—the weakness due to weather was seen…

Yellen at Jackson Hole

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | August 25, 2014

At last week’s Jackson Hole Symposium Janet Yellen was not the dove we thought we knew. Balanced remarks on labor market and cumulative progress toward recovery put her views close to center of FOMC. We see this as further confirmation that Fed leadership is increasingly comfortable with moving toward an exit from zero interest rates—likely by June 2015 or a bit sooner. I must have heard it on the radio recently, because Janet Yellen’s speech…

U.S. rates — play for growth

Zach Pandl, Portfolio Manager and Strategist | December 10, 2013

More signs that U.S. growth is accelerating; with 7% unemployment rate, look for qualitative communication changes at next FOMC meeting. Higher odds of December taper but we still think January is more likely (with possible hint in December press conference). We wonder whether front-end rates can remain anchored as growth picks up. The November employment report brought more positive news on U.S. activity, with a healthy gain in nonfarm payrol…

Signs point to an improving U.S. economy

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | December 9, 2013

Data shows economy is improving Job growth is continuing GDP is not as good as the report would make you think The first week in December was a data goldmine for anyone hoping for news that the economy maintained momentum through the early autumn government distortions. The payroll report continued to post moderate and steady payroll gains consistent with a sustained improvement in labor markets. The interruption from the government shutdown i…