Monday, March 6, 2017 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC -
The closely watched monthly Jobs Report for February will be delivered this Friday and the numbers usually carry big headline risk. It is expected that U.S. employers added 188,000 new workers last month, which would be below the 227,000 created in January. Federal Reserve members will dissect the numbers to reinforce the notion of higher interest rates in 2017. Steady job growth is a key factor in the Fed's decision on interest rate policy. Given the recent solid economic data coupled with an improving job market, a rate hike to the short-term Fed Funds Rate is essentially full priced in at the March 14-15 FOMC meeting.
The manufacturing sector continued to improve in January as it was reported that U.S. made goods increased during the month after positive numbers in December. The Commerce Department reported on Monday that factory orders rose 1.2% from December, above the 1% increase expected. From January 2016 to January 2017, orders were up 5.5%. Within the report it showed that orders for computers and electronic products rose, while electrical equipment, appliances and components declined.
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