Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A stronger-than-expected quarter? 

There is concern and consternation on Wall Street over a new report that projects the monthly employment number days before its release. ADP, which processes payrolls around the country, reported out today that 368,000 jobs were projected to have been added in June. The median estimate for June from private forecaster has been 175,000 new jobs; one forecaster has gone from a more negative 100k to a slightly positive 200k after the ADP report. That, on top of the factory orders number coming in about double the expectation should give pause to the speculation that the Fed will stop raising interest rates any time soon.

What does this mean? It means that if the ADP number is right, we will see a larger GDP figure for the second quarter just than currently expected (anything over 3% would come as a surprise right now). Indeed, if we have a jobs number Friday over 200k, I would bet a bottle of scotch that we are over 3% growth for the second quarter. And that report will come just about the time the Fed meets next.