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Market News (01/07/2013)
MADISON, Wis. (1/7/13)

  • U.S. employers ended 2012 by adding 155,000 jobs in December, keeping the slow growth pace of the past two years, said the Labor Department Friday (The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal Jan. 4).  December's increase follows a revised upward gain of 161,000 in November. The unemployment rate held at 7.8%. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a gain of 160,000 in payrolls and a 7.7% jobless rate, said the Times, while 52 economists surveyed by Bloomberg had projected a 152,000 increase (Bloomberg.com Jan. 4). Health care, food services, construction and manufacturing gained the most, with the latter two areas boosted by rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy. During 2012, roughly 1.8 million jobs were added in the U.S.  At the current pace of job growth, it will take seven years for the unemployment rate to return to pre-2007 levels, said the TimesAnnual hourly earnings rose 2.1% from December 2011 to $23.73, the largest gain in one year, said Bloomberg. The average work week climbed six minutes--to 34.5 hours …
  • Factory orders in the U.S. were basically flat during November, with orders for manufactured goods increasing a less-than-expected $211 million to reach $477.7 billion, reported the Commerce Department Friday (Moody's Economy.com and The Wall Street Journal Jan. 4). Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had projected a 0.1% increase.  Orders for durable goods--or goods meant to last at least three years--rose 0.8% after a slight revision upward from 0.7% and shipments of durable goods rose 1.6% from October. Nondurable goods orders declined 0.6%. Core capital goods orders increased 2.6%, a revision downward from earlier estimates of a 2.7% gain. Shipments for November were revised up to a 2% gain instead of the previous estimate of a 1.8% gain …
  • The Economic Cycle Research Institute's (ECRI) Future Inflation Gauge was 104 in December,near its recovery period high of 104.7 set in March 2011, according to Moody's Economy.com (Jan. 4).  The figure is up from the revised 102.6 reading for November, which had originally been estimated at 102.5. The December reading is at a still-low level and consistent with Moody's view that inflation does not pose much threat in 2013 to the U.S. economic recovery. Inflation has been well-contained the past year, said Moody's, noting the gauge tends to lead changes in inflation by nine to 12 months. Headline inflation, measured by the personal consumption expenditure price index, will accelerate slowly and barely breach the Federal Reserve's 2% target later this year, Moody's added …


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