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US Data: Highlights of MNI Survey of Economic Forecasts

Repeats Story Initially Transmitted at 22:06 GMT Jan 28/17:06 EST Jan 28
     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.         
Conference Board Consumer Confidence for January (index)
 Tuesday, January 29 at 10:00 a.m. ET                  Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Jan19  Dec18  Nov18
 Confidence     124.0    122.0 to 128.1                 --  128.1  136.4
     Comments: The index of consumer confidence is expected to fall 
sharply to a reading of 124.0 in January after a decline in December. 
The Michigan Sentiment index plunged to 90.7 in early-January from 98.3 
in December. 
Employment Cost Index for Fourth Quarter (percent change)
 Thursday, January 31 at 8:30 a.m. ET                    Actual:        
                 Median       Range                   4Q18   3Q18   2Q18
 ECI              +0.8%   +0.7% to +0.8                 --  +0.8%  +0.6%
     Comments: The ECI is expected to rise 0.8% in the fourth quarter, 
the same as the previous quarter. Wage and salary growth should again be 
the key factor. 
Weekly Jobless Claims for January 26 week                                
 Thursday, January 31 at 8:30 a.m. ET                    Actual:       
               Median         Range                  Jan26  Jan19  Jan12
 Weekly Claims   218k     210k to 225k                  --   199k   212k
     Comments: The level of initial jobless claims is expected to 
rebound to 218,000 in the January 26 holiday week after a decline of 
13,000 to a 199,000 level in the previous week, the lowest level in 
almost 50 years. The level of filings by Federal workers, which lags by 
a week, more than doubled to 25,419 in the January 12 week and is likely 
to move even higher. These data do not feed into the headline number, 
but private contractors that were furloughed due to the shutdown may 
feed into the headline figure soon. Even with a partial rebound, the 
four-week moving average would still tumble in the coming week as the 
233,000 level in the December 29 week rolls out of the calculation, 
assuming the MNI forecast is correct and there are no revisions. 
MNI Chicago Report for January (index)                                 
 Thursday, January 31 at 9:45 a.m. ET                    Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Jan19  Dec18  Nov18
 MNI Chicago     60.8     59.0 to 62.5                  --   63.8   63.5
     Comments: The MNI Chicago PMI is expected to fall to 60.8 in 
January after a small increase to a revised 63.8 reading in December. 
Other regional data already released have suggested mixed conditions, 
with the Empire State index down, the Philadelphia Fed index up, the 
Richmond reading up to a smaller decline and the Kansas City index 
virtually steady. 
Domestic Motor Vehicle Sales for January (mln units, saar)                  
 Friday, February 1                                      Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Jan19  Dec18  Nov18
 Sales Ex GM                                            --   9.9m   9.8m
     Comments: The SAAR for domestic-made vehicle sales is expected to 
hold steady around a 9.9 million pace in January after a small rebound 
in December, but with some upside risk. Seasonal adjustment factors will 
be a large addition to January unadjusted sales after being a 
subtraction in December. Offsetting that will be a delay of any 
purchases by furloughed government employees that might have otherwise 
occurred in January. 
Nonfarm Payrolls for January (change in thousands)                     
 Friday, February 1 at 8:30 a.m. ET                      Actual:        
               Median         Range                  Jan19  Dec18  Nov18
 Payrolls       +167k    +135k to +190k                 --  +312k  +176k
 Private Jobs   +175k    +150k to +180k                 --  +301k  +173k
 Jobless Rate    3.9%     3.8% to 4.0%                  --   3.9%   3.7%
 Hrly Earnings  +0.2%    +0.2% to +0.3%                 --  +0.4%  +0.2%
 Avg Wkly Hrs    34.5     34.5 to 34.5                  --   34.5   34.4
     Comments: Nonfarm payrolls are forecast to rise by 167,000 in 
January after a much stronger-than-expected 312,000 increase in 
December, leaving the two-month average above 200,000. The private 
payrolls measure is expected to show a 175,000 gain. Now that furloughed 
federal government employees are assured of receiving backpay (the law 
was passed on January 16), the impact on the government jobs category 
will be minimal as BLS will count the sidelined employees as working. 
So, much of the impact from the shutdown will be seen for government 
contractors, not the government employees themselves. 
     The unemployment rate is expected to be unchanged from 3.9% in the 
previous month. A large impact will be seen from the government workers, 
who will be considered as temporarily laid off for the purposes of 
household employment, cutting the measure of employed and boosting the 
level of unemployed. This will temporarily lift the unemployment rate, 
with a likely reversal in February now that the shutdown has ended. 
     Hourly earnings are forecast to rise 0.2% after a 0.4% gain in the 
previous month, while the average workweek is expected to hold steady at 
34.5 hours. Earnings and hours worked for government employees are not 
included in the data, but the impact of the shutdown could still be seen 
for government contractors. Annual revisions to the establishment survey 
will be released with this month's data. 
ISM Manufacturing Index for January                                       
 Friday, February 1 at 10:00 a.m. ET                    Actual:
               Median         Range                  Jan19  Dec18  Nov18
 Mfg ISM         54.1     53.8 to 55.0                  --   54.3   58.8
     Comments: The ISM manufacturing index is expected to dip slightly 
to a reading of 54.1 in January after falling to a revised 54.3 in 
December. Regional conditions data have been mixed, while the flash 
Markit estimate rose to 54.9 from 53.8 in December. 
University of Michigan Survey for January (final)          
 Friday, February 1 at 10:00 a.m. ET                     Actual:
                Median        Range                 Jan19f Jan19p  Dec18
 Consumer Sent    91.0    90.5 to 91.3                  --   90.7   98.3
     Comments: The Michigan Sentiment index is expected to be revised up 
to a reading of 91.0 in January from the 90.7 preliminary estimate, 
keeping the index well below the 98.3 reading in December due to 
concerns about the government shutdown.
--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 (973) 494-2611; email: harrison.clarke@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: MTABLE]

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