Any chances to forecast NFP?

Any chances to forecast NFP?

Today the US Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the Nonfarm Payrolls at 15:30 MT time. Nonfarm Payrolls count the change in the number of employed during the previous month. The data is important because it displays consumer spending and economic health. The advantage of the indicator is that it is delivered shortly after the month ends. It is announced together with two other indicators such as Average hourly earnings and Unemployment rate.

Nowadays, we can notice that the indicator is not as important as it was before. During the financial crisis, numbers of it were highly taken into consideration because of its main function as a measure of the economic health. However, now the economy is quite firm, it does not require additional supportive indicators. But still, the data support interest rates hikes. This year the Fed is expected to increase interest rates three times. So a market follows changes in the labor market. A tighter market causes wages rise. Wages increase will boost the interest rates.

Although it is almost impossible to forecast Nonfarm Payrolls data, analysts do not give up.

This time, analysts are divided into two camps.

For example, analysts of Nomura and Goldman Sachs predict 205K rise.

On the other hand, Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation makes its prediction based on the temperature. It claimed that the drop in average temperatures across the country may cause the fall of job creation for the month. So its expectations are at the level of 170K. The Australian Bank Westpac agrees with HSBC, maybe the reason for the number is different, but the number is the same. Toronto-Dominion Securities is not far from them, it is looking for 175K.

Making a conclusion, we can say that despite the fact that the Nonfarm Payrolls data is not used as much as it was during the financial crisis, it is still a crucial indicator, for the Fed policy especially. Its volatility is still incredible, that creates difficulties for forecasts. October data of -33K was followed by 261K in November, the data delivered in December was quite similar to previous one, but the next one was in 80K less. However, the data is still taken into consideration and always supported by two other indicators that smooth its volatility.

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