Something appears to be happening in the last few weeks to push employment back down in Gallup’s survey, usually a good if not exact indicator of official trends from the BLS. It’s unclear what that might be, although it probably relates to current and anticipated demand. The advance GDP report for 2011Q4 was a decent 2.8%, but the real final sales number was under 1%, which indicates inventory inflation and signals lower output in succeeding quarters, and also indicates flagging demand.It will be interesting to see if Obama's unemployment numbers match Gallup's?
The other possibility is the anticipated rise in energy prices, especially in gasoline. That will have a corrosive effect on disposable income in two directions — directly at the pump, where it will cost more for consumers to come to market, and on the prices of goods at the market when they arrive. That will lower demand even further, as seen in the rapid rise of gas prices at this time last year. Businesses might be bracing for this by postponing replacement hiring or trimming staff, especially with CBO outlooks for growth this year and next being 2.0% and 1.1%, respectively.
We’re two weeks away from the February employment report, but this precursor from Gallup isn’t good news at all. We’ll see if it’s an outlier this month, or a warning.
Friday, February 17, 2012
'Gallup Poll Suggest Spike In Unemployment For February'
From Hot Air: