Jobs growth is picking up once again. That’s an essential ingredient that puts into perspective all recent economic data releases.
Take auto sales, for instance. As we noted earlier today, February auto sales were down -5.4% month-over-month to 16.53 million cars sold. We’re less concerned about a slowdown in autos that cracks the strength of the broader U.S. economy. The peak in “autos is typically a mid-cycle phenomenon… so if it rolls over it’s not typically a drag on total consumer credit” and spending, says Hedgeye Senior Macro analyst Christian Drake on The Macro Show.
Meanwhile, the labor market remains strong. As Drake points out today:“You really need labor to crack before these things really roll over. Yes, they can be under pressure. Yes, they can be going the wrong way. Yes, they’re notable and something to monitor but a lot of these things aren’t going to metastasize and crescendo until you see labor roll over. If you still have your job and you still get paid, it isn’t going to totally break down.”
The most recent jobless claims data hit an annualized rate of 245,700 for the week of April 8th. That’s the lowest level since 1973. We also think there is going to be an acceleration in hiring in the coming months that will positively impact income growth, Drake says.Don’t fear the recent breakdown in auto sales data. The U.S. economy and hiring is heating up.