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US Data: Highlights of MNI Survey of Economic Forecasts

Repeats Story Initially Transmitted at 22:06 GMT Oct 31/18:06 EST Oct 31
     WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following are highlights of forecasts for   
upcoming U.S. economic indicators provided by participants in the MNI   
weekly survey. The comment section presents the key elements behind the 
median forecasts.         
Weekly Jobless Claims for October 27 week                                
 Thursday, November 1 at 8:30 a.m. ET                    Actual:       
               Median         Range                  Oct27  Oct20  Oct13
 Weekly Claims   215k     212k to 217k                  --   215k   210k
     Comments: The level of initial jobless claims is expected to hold 
steady at a 215,000 level in the October 27 week after an increase of 
5,000 to 215,000 level in the previous week on gains in the hurricane 
impacted regions. The impact of Hurricane Michael is likely to continue 
for several more weeks, but overall level of claims remains remarkably 
low. The four-week moving average would rise by 2,000 in the coming week 
as the 207,000 level in the September 29 rolls out of the calculation, 
assuming the MNI forecast is correct and there are no revisions. 
Nonfarm Productivity for Third Quarter, preliminary (ann rate % change) 
 Thursday, November 1 at 8:30 a.m. ET                    Actual:        
                   Median           Range           3Q18p    2Q18   1Q18
 Productivity       +2.6%      +1.8% to +3.5%          --   +2.9%  +0.3% 
 Unit Labor Costs   +0.6%      +0.3% to +1.6%          --   -1.0%  +3.4%
     Comments: Nonfarm productivity is expected to slow to a 2.6% annual 
rate in the preliminary third quarter estimate after 2.9% gain in the 
second quarter, as the output component should reflect the modest 
slowdown in the GDP growth. Unit labor costs are expected to rise by 
0.6% after a 1.0% decline in the second quarter. 
Domestic Motor Vehicle Sales for October (mln units, saar)                  
 Thursday, November 1                                    Actual:
               Median         Range                  Oct18  Sep18  Aug18
 Sales Ex GM       --          --                       --  10.2m  10.1m
     Comments: The SAAR for domestic-made vehicle sales is expected to 
hold roughly steady at 10.2 million in October after rising modestly in 
September. Seasonal adjustment factors will be a larger addition to 
October unadjusted sales that they were in the previous month. 
Construction Spending for September (percent change)                        
 Thursday, November 1 at 10:00 a.m. ET                   Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Sep18  Aug18  Jul18
 Construction   +0.1%    +0.0% to +0.5%                 --  +0.1%  +0.2%
     Comments: Construction spending is expected to rise by 0.1% in 
September after a 0.1% August gain. Housing starts fell further in the 
month, partially due to the impact of Hurricane Florence, a negative for 
private residential building. 
ISM Manufacturing Index for October                                       
 Thursday, November 1 at 10:00 a.m. ET                   Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Oct18  Sep18  Aug18
 Mfg ISM         59.0     58.0 to 60.0                  --   59.8   61.3
     Comments: The ISM manufacturing index is expected to dip to a 
still-strong reading of 59.0 in October after falling back to 59.8 in 
September. Regional conditions data have suggested continued solid 
growth, though a decline in the Richmond manufacturing index is a 
negative factor. The flash Markit manufacturing index rose to 55.9 in 
October from 55.6 in September. 
Nonfarm Payrolls for October (change in thousands)                     
 Friday, November 2 at 8:30 a.m. ET                      Actual:        
               Median         Range                 Oct18  Sep18  Aug18 
 Payrolls       +190k    +160k to +231k                --  +134k  +270k
 Private Jobs   +190k    +175k to +205k                --  +121k  +254k
 Jobless Rate    3.7%     3.6% to 3.8%                 --   3.7%   3.9%
 Hrly Earnings  +0.2%    +0.1% to +0.3%                --  +0.3%  +0.3%
 Avg Wkly Hrs    34.5     34.5 to 34.5                 --   34.5   34.5
     Comments: Nonfarm payrolls are forecast to rise by 190,000 in 
October after a much weaker-than-expected rise of 134,000 in September 
that was partially due to effects from Hurricane Florence. This month's 
data could be strongly impacted by the effects of Hurricane Michael, 
which hit land on October 10 in the middle of the survey week, so there 
is downside risk to forecasts. The unemployment rate is expected to hold 
steady at 3.7%. Hourly earnings are forecast to rise 0.2% after solid 
gains in the previous three months, while the average workweek is 
expected to hold steady at 34.5 hours for another month, but could show 
the impact of Hurricane Michael. The year/year rate for hourly earnings 
dipped to 2.8% in September but is likely to rebound in October on base 
effects from a 0.2% monthly decline in earnings in October 2017. 
Trade in Goods and Services for September (deficit, billion $)           
 Friday, November 2 at 8:30 a.m. ET                       Actual:        
               Median         Range                Sep18   Aug18   Jul18
 Trade Gap    -$53.5b  -$54.4b to -$51.4b             -- -$53.2b -$50.0b
     Comments: The international trade gap is expected to widen modestly 
to $53.5 billion in September from $53.2 billion in August. The advance 
estimate of the Census goods trade gap widened further to $76.0 billion, 
as imports rose faster than exports. 
Factory Orders for September (percent change)                             
 Friday, November 2 at 10:00 a.m. ET                     Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Sep18  Aug18  Jul18  
 New Orders     +0.5%    +0.0% to +0.6%                 --  +2.3%  -0.5%
 Ex Transport    --         -- to --                    --  +0.1%  +0.1%
     Comments: Factory orders are expected to rise by 0.5% in September. 
Durable goods orders rose by 0.8% in the month on a surprise increase in 
defense aircraft orders, while nondurables orders are expected to dip on 
a decrease in energy prices. Durable orders excluding transportation 
were up only 0.1%, so total factory orders excluding transportation are 
expected to be roughly flat.
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 (973) 494-2611; email:

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