US weekly earnings slow

By Colin Twiggs
September 7, 2016 9:30 p.m. EDT/11:30 a.m. AEST

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I pointed out several weeks ago that US GDP growth was slowing but was not too concerned because jobs numbers continue to improve. Now I am starting to see further signs that the economy is slowing.

The Institute for Supply Management updated their Non-Manufacturing Index on September 6th:

In August, the NMI® registered 51.4 percent, a decrease of 4.1 percentage points when compared to July's reading of 55.5 percent, indicating continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector for the 79th consecutive month. A reading above 50 percent indicates the non-manufacturing sector economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates the non-manufacturing sector is generally contracting......

But there is weakness in Manufacturing, as the ISM reported last week :

Manufacturing contracted in August as the PMI® registered 49.4 percent, a decrease of 3.2 percentage points from the July reading of 52.6 percent, indicating contraction in manufacturing for the first time since February 2016 when the PMI registered 49.5. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.....

A 10-year graph of Manufacturing PMI shows that whipsaws around the 50 level are fairly common and not cause for alarm. A decline below the December 2015 low of 48.0, however, would be cause for concern.

Manufacturing PMI


Of greater concern is the declining growth of estimated weekly employee earnings which closely follows GDP. Weekly employee earnings — estimated by multiplying Total Non-farm Payrolls by Average Weekly Hours (Total Private) and Average Hourly Earnings — have held around the 4.0 percent level since early 2014 but are now tracking the decline of GDP. Further falls in Nominal GDP, below 2.43% p.a. from the second quarter, now appear likely.

Estimated Weekly Employee Earnings

Source: FRED/ US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Firmness, both in sufferance and exertion, is a character which I would wish to possess. I have always despised the whining yelp of complaint and the cowardly, feeble resolve.

~ Robert Burns