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November 02, 2004

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The State Of Our Economy Is Awesome

Employment Growth Accelerated in October: U.S. Economy Preview
Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. employers probably added 175,000 workers to payrolls in October, the most in five months, while the unemployment rate held at a three-year low of 5.4 percent, the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of economists shows.

The Labor Department's report will be released three days after the Nov. 2 presidential election, which polls show is a toss- up. President George W. Bush says his tax cuts have helped the economy, while Democratic challenger John Kerry says they haven't boosted jobs.

``The focus this week will be jobs related -- will President Bush keep his job and by how much will payrolls rebound in October,'' said Joseph Abate, senior U.S. economist at Lehman Brothers Inc. in New York.

The projected employment gain would follow September's rise of 96,000, less than forecast in part because of hurricanes in the Southeast. Faster job growth is needed to help boost incomes, spending and the economy. A Commerce Department report tomorrow is forecast to show Americans spent more than they earned last month.

Employment growth cooled from earlier this year, when a quarter million jobs a month were added through May. Less job growth in September probably helped hold incomes to a 0.3 percent gain during the month, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey. Personal spending probably rose twice as much as incomes last month, the survey showed.

Fed Policy

The jobs statistics will be the last Federal Reserve policy makers will see before their Nov. 10 meeting. All 46 economists in a Bloomberg News survey forecast central bankers to raise their benchmark overnight lending rate a quarter point to 2 percent. Fed officials have signaled as much in recent comments.

``No doubt, the recent run-up in energy prices poses some challenges, but the evidence indicates that, without some further material shock, aggregate demand is on track, consistent with sustained economic growth,'' Fed Vice Chairman Roger Ferguson said in a speech two days ago.

Manufacturing, responding to increased third-quarter consumer demand and business spending on equipment, probably expanded in October, a report tomorrow is forecast to show. The Institute of Supply Management's gauge of factory activity is forecast to hold at 58.5 in October. Readings above 50 signal expansion and the index has shown growth since May 2003.


Blogger Libertarian of Pennsylvania said...

The news is encouraging, but we are not out of the woods yet. I agree that the economy has made a turn for the better, but what concerns many economists is the high price of crude oil and the slight drop in consumer confidence. Only time will tell.
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November 01, 2004 2:59 PM  

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