U.S. manufacturing may be in trouble. Nearly all key indicators measuring the health of manufacturers in the world’s largest economy have disappointed over the past year.
Depending on which report you read from the same source, the U.S. economy is doing extremely well and also in danger of slowing sharply.
The May U.S. non-farm payroll report on Friday may be a much less volatile affair than last month, when shock news of 288,000 new jobs topped even the most optimistic views.
The two forecasting teams that came closest to predicting the U.S. economy would nearly stall in the first quarter expect other key economic data due this week to be strong.
Financial and economic forecasters have long been the punching bag of punters and traders for making spectacularly wrong calls. But a clutch of economists looked exceptionally good on Friday. Nine of them, or about 10 percent of the latest Reuters Polls sample on U.S. non-farm payrolls, got the net number of new jobs created in May exactly right at 175,000. And a whole lot of them came very close.
When Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was last in New York, he joked about his past research into the effect of uncertainty on investment spending. “I concluded it is not a good thing, and they gave me a PhD for that,” he said, drawing laughter from a gathering of hundreds of economists in a packed Times Square conference room.