The employment report dispelled concerns

The report on the labor market, published on Friday, came exactly as it was expected- on the one hand, it indicates a steady growth of the economy, on the other, it removes fears of the fourth rate increase this year.

The number of new jobs exceeded all possible forecasts. In February the increase was 313, 000, moreover, in January the data was also revised upwards from 200, 000 to 239, 000. The unemployment rate again is 4.1%, as in January, which is also quite a positive factor.

However, another indicator, namely, the growth rate of wages, was disappointing - the growth was 0.1% versus the forecast of 0.2%; on an annualized basis, growth slowed from 2.8% to 2.6%, which means that inflationary pressures are again under threat.

The GDPNow model after the publication of the jobs data shows GDP growth in the 1st quarter at 2.5%, that is, the forecast is significantly reduced.


The growth of wages at the current stage is given a key importance, since the Fed proceeds from the postulate of direct dependence of wage growth and inflation. Weaker than expected, revenue growth reduces consumer demand, hence the deterioration of the forecast.

Nevertheless, by the end of the trading session, US stock indices showed steady growth. The reason for this enthusiasm is that lower inflation rates reduce the threat of a fourth rate hike this year; in any case, the futures on the rate, according to CME, show a probability of a rate hike in December of less than 30%.

Even the rather hawkish speech of FOMC member Rosengren did not help, which noted that "recent economic data is pretty good," and the Fed may raise rates more than three times this year.

Together with the stock indices, commodity prices increased, the dollar played some losses against the Japanese yen, and against the commodity currencies, on the contrary, the position lost, which indicates the growing market enthusiasm.

Thus, a weak wage growth turned out to be much more important in the eyes of investors than the threat of currency wars. On Thursday, President Donald Trump signed a decree on the introduction of tariffs for steel and aluminum by 25% and 10% respectively, while paying taxes were exempted from Mexico and Canada - trading partners for NAFTA.


Thus, the threat is realized, although partially, and the response from the EU and China will follow. However, Trump is confident in his abilities - "If you do not want to pay by tariffs, transport your plant to the US" - that's how he commented on the wave of discontent.

Yet Trump is more of a trader than the president - increasing tariffs will strengthen his position in the negotiations on NAFTA and will allow for a review of trade relations in other, no less significant areas.

Nevertheless, the reaction of the trading partners remains negative. President of France Emmanuel Macron in a telephone conversation with Trump said that everyone will suffer from restrictions, and they risk provoking a trade war. The day before the head of the ECB, Mario Draghi, spoke even more harshly, saying that it was necessary to adhere to the negotiation format in disputable issues, and unilateral decisions were dangerous, and if the US began to apply trade restrictions against its allies, then who were the enemies?

Most likely, on Monday there will be the first data on possible response measures. The markets will play a positive role because of the threat of a fourth increase in the rate of the Fed, and inevitably return to the issue of tariffs and restrictions.

On Tuesday, consumer inflation data will be published in February. There is a negative outlook,as 0.2% growth is expected against 0.5% in January. Adjustment to either side can create increased volatility due to risk revaluation. On Wednesday, you need to pay attention to the report on retail sales and producer prices.

The dollar finished the week confidently, on Monday the dollar index may resume growth against the yen, euro and franc, commodity currencies are unlikely to give the initiative.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company -