Friday, November 04, 2011

Statistical Notes Friday November 4

-The British service sector PMI fell significantly in October, just like its manufacturing PMI, but unlike the manufacturing PMI, it was at 51.3 still somewhat above the 50 level.

-The U.S. job market continued to be fairly strong in October, with the payroll survey showing gains of 80,000 jobs and the household survey a gain of 277,000 jobs, the latter resulting in an increase in the employment rate to 58.4% from 58.3% and a decrease in the unemployment rate to 9% from 9.1%. Previous months payroll gains were also revised up.

The average work week was unchanged both on the month and the year, while nominal average hourly earnings rose by 0.2% compared to the previous month and 1.8% compared to the previous year. It is unknown what the real change was since the inflation numbers aren't yet available, but at least the yearly real change was almost certainly negative, probably about a 2% decline.

Meanwhile, the ISM non-manufacturing index fell slightly, from 53 to 52.9.

-The October job numbers from Canada was a lot weaker, with employment declining by 54,000 (since Canada is one ninth the size of the U.S., that's equivalent to nearly half a million jobs), erasing almost all of the large gains from the previous months, and increasing the unemployment rate to 7.3% from 7.1%. Much of both the previous months gain and the latest months drop was probably due to measurement errors and/or temporary factors.

-German factory orders in September came in a lot weaker than expected, dropping by 4.4% compared to the previous month, the third monthly drop in a row. As a result, the annual gain fell to just 2.4%

-Industrial production in Spain fell by 1.7% in the year to September, compared to a 0.3% gain in the year to August.

-Mixed economic news from the Baltic states. Estonia saw industrial production drop as much as 10% in September compared to August, lowering the yearly growth rate to just 6% (previously more than 20%). This monthly drop was driven by a 48% drop in production of electronic production. It seems likely that most of this drop, and perhaps also the previous increases, were driven by erratic, temporary factors.

By contrast, Latvia saw industrial production rise by 1.2% compared to the previous month and 9.6% a year earlier. Lithuania's GDP growth rose according to preliminary estimates in the third quarter to 6.6% compared to 6.5% in the previous quarters.

-Preliminary third quarter GDP in Taiwan fell by 0.3% (1.1% at an annualized rate), reducing the annual gain to 3.4%.


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