BY: MARSHALL BARTLETT
Senior Vice President / Portfolio Manager
Announced this morning, the economy added 145,000 jobs in December, less than forecasts. Construction and Retail Trade were strong, while Manufacturing was weak. The Unemployment Rate held steady at 3.5% and Average Hourly Earnings increased only 0.1% in December and 2.9% on an annual basis, less than forecasts. Average Weekly Hours Worked was one tenth lower at 34.3 and the Labor Force Participation Rate was unchanged from the previous month at 63.2%. Overall, a weak headline number with continued low unemployment. Average Hourly Earnings were also weak suggesting there will be limited upward pressure on inflation from wages. The Federal Reserve likely remains on hold with their policy and has additional justification to remain accommodative with low rates and increases to their balance sheet. In all, bond yields ticked lower following the report and equity futures are higher heading into the market open.
This material is intended to be for informational purposes only and is intended for current or prospective clients of Argent Trust Company. This information is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, and its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. Information does not constitute a recommendation of any investment strategy, is not intended as investment advice and does not take into account all the circumstances of each investor. Forward‐looking assumptions are Argent Trust Company’s current estimates or expectations of future events or future results based on proprietary research and should not be construed as an estimate or promise of results that a portfolio may achieve. Actual results could differ materially from the results indicated by this information. Investments can go down as well as up. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.