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Fed Chair Powell spoke at the “2021 Just Economy Conference”. The Fed Chair indicated that while the economy is not out of the woods, it has made significant progress. Powell particularly focused on the Fed’s annual Survey of Household Economic Decisionmaking (SHED) to be released later this month. The report will show that adults without a bachelor’s degree as well as Black and Hispanic workers were disproportionally affected by the pandemic. Some 20% of workers in the lowest one-fifth of workers by income did not have jobs in February as compared to 6% of workers in the highest one-fifth of incomes. SHED is also set to report that 80% of small businesses reported declining revenues. Powell emphasized that the central bank will continue using the monetary policy tools at its disposal to promote maximum employment and price stability.
The Department of Commerce reported that U.S. factory orders rose 1.1% in March after falling 0.5% in February. Factory orders were supported by strong demand for machinery, motor vehicles, fabricated and primary metal products, while orders for electrical equipment, appliances, and components decreased. Orders rose 6.6% on a year-on-year basis. Durable goods orders increased 0.8%, up slightly over the initially reported increase of 0.5%. Orders for nondurable goods rose 1.5%. Orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft rose a revised 1.2% in March. Unfilled factory orders rose 0.4% following a 0.9% increase in February. Shipments of core capital goods, which are used to calculate business equipment spending rose 1.6%.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy added 266,000 jobs in April, sharply lower than March’s downwardly revised 770,000 and February’s upwardly revised 536,000. The unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.1% in April, up from 6% a month earlier. April’s figures show the slowest improvement for jobs since January. Overall employment is still more than 8.2 million jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. Leisure and hospitality reported significant gains adding 331,000 jobs. Employment in professional and business services reported significant losses dropping by 111,000. Manufacturing lost 18,000 workers, while employment for couriers and messengers dropped 77,000.
Tuesday May 11 – JOLTs Job Openings (Mar)
Wednesday May 12- Core CPI (MoM) (Apr) (Q1)
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