Some important pieces of the US economic reports, including the latest nonfarm payrolls, have disappointed recently. May indicators (including the leading ones) have hit a soft patch it seems. Will that push the Fed to downgrade its dot-plot or fine-tune the monetary policy mix anyhow? Can gold jump in reaction to the Wednesday’s FOMC policy meeting?
February Payrolls Disappoint
U.S. nonfarm payrolls plunged in February, falling way short of expectations. The economy added just 20,000 jobs last month, following a rise of 311,000 in January (after an upward revision) and significantly below 172,000 forecasted by the economists. The number was the smallest increase since September 2017, as one can see in the chart below. On an annual basis, the pace of job creation increased slightly last month to 1.8 percent.
Chart 1: Monthly changes in employment gains (red bars, in thousands of persons) from February 2014 to February 2019