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US Data: Highlights of MNI Survey of Economic Forecasts

     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.    
Nonfarm Payrolls for December (change in thousands)                     
 Friday, January 4 at 8:30 a.m. ET                      Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Dec18  Nov18  Oct18 
 Payrolls        180k     166k to 200k                 --  +155k  +237k
 Private Jobs    175k     162k to 195k                 --  +161k  +251k
 Jobless Rate    3.7%     3.6% to 3.8%                 --   3.7%   3.7%
 Hrly Earnings  +0.3%    +0.2% to +0.3%                --  +0.2%  +0.1%
 Avg Wkly Hrs    34.5     34.4 to 34.5                 --   34.4   34.5
          Comments: Nonfarm payrolls are forecast to rise by 180,000 in 
December after a weaker-than-expected 155,000 rise in November, a 
payback from the previous month's sharp increase. The unemployment rate 
is expected to hold steady at the 3.7% level from the previous three 
months, with annual revisions to the household survey possibly altering 
the recent picture. Hourly earnings are forecast to rise 0.3%. A 0.4% 
gain in December 2017 provides a high hurdle for the monthly change this 
year to reach to keep the 3.1% year/year rate intact. The average 
workweek is expected to rise to 34.5 hours after dipping to 34.4 hours 
in November. 
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 202-371-2121; email:

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