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Morici expects good jobs report on Friday
Howard Richman, 3/30/2010

Peter Morici has been following the numbers for durable goods orders and thinks that they predict a good jobs report on Friday when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the employment and unemployment numbers for March. In an article at Seeking Alpha (Breakthrough Jobs Report Expected), he wrote:

People aren’t buying homes but they are buying other durable goods again—furniture, building materials (putting up that garden shed), sporting goods, and electronic products and appliances.

I like home theaters and new kitchens as leading indicators.

March car sells are strong—up in the range of 12 million units at an annual pace. Part of that is a rebound from January and February sales dampened by snow. With gas prices rising, analysts won’t know until late spring if the auto sales recovery is sticking but for now green shoots—at long last—in the auto patch.

The Institute for Supply Chain Management tracking index has manufacturing up the last seven months with firms hiring the last three months.

Finally, it is happening!

Morici predicts that 150,000 jobs will be gained when the employment numbers come out. He now thinks the chances of a double-dip recession are only one-in-five, though he says that there is a 50-50 chance of at least one negative growth quarter during the coming year.

Morici is looking at a lot of economic indicators. I have a much more simplistic model. The price of gasoline is my main indicator. After a temporary surge in February and March, gasoline prices are back down to their January levels, suggesting that the entire world is falling back into recession, after a brief surge during the first quarter.

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