Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Turn in Thursday for News

Thursday will bring two big releases of national economic data with significant implications for the Wichita economy.

9:00 A.M. Central Daylight Savings Time: The Bureau of Economic Analysis (of the Commerce Department) will issue data for May manufacturing orders, shipments, backlogs, etc. While total new orders are an important cyclical indicator, we in Wichita will be particularly interested in the new and unfilled orders for the aerospace industry. This will not include the impact of Quantas' recent cancellation of orders for 15 Dreamliners.

7:30 A.M. Central Daylight Savings Time: The June employment report. Normally this would be issued Friday, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics is moving it up a day for the Independence Day holiday. The consensus of forecasts is that it will show a loss of 350,000 jobs on nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate up to 9.6 percent.

What to look for: A better showing on job losses would support our thesis that the economy has bottomed out. Even without a significant surprise from the payroll data, the report may better expectations on the unemployment rate which is based on the notoriously noisy household survey. The household survey also gives an alternative measure of employment. Analysts tend to ignore this measure for techical reasons, however I have found a careful analysis of these data gives better signals at turning points. By this metric the decline in employment has moderated even more than manefested on the establishment survey. Look for further confirmation of bottoming out. The non aerospace component of Wichita's economy needs to see a pickup in activity in the national economy.

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