Every Friday, Brian Jacobsen provides perspective on key events and topics of the current week and his thoughts about what the week ahead may hold. Here’s his report for the week of July 31–August 6, 2021.

The week that was

  • Nonfarm payrolls increased 943,000 in July while the unemployment rate declined to 5.4%. The employment-to-population ratio increased to 58.4%, but that’s still 2.7 percentage points lower than it was in February 2020. The release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics said average hourly earnings rose $0.11 and “The data for recent months suggest that the rising demand for labor associated with the recovery from the pandemic may have put upward pressure on wages.”
  • Around 89% of companies within the S&P 500 Index have reported their second-quarter earnings. Just before earnings began rolling in, at the index level, S&P 500 earnings per share and S&P 500 sales were expected to rise, respectively, more than 63% and just under 20% year over year, according to FactSet. So far, earnings are growing at an 89% year-over-year pace, and sales are growing 25% year over year. Some big technology companies reported record earnings this past week, but investors seemed to be disappointed in some of the forward guidance given by executives on the earnings calls.

 

Economics:

  • The Reserve Bank of Australia decided to stick to its tapering plan despite some of the new lockdown measures across the country. However, the government hasn’t been issuing as much debt as it was earlier in the year or last year, so the reduction in the pace of asset purchases by the central bank might not tighten financial conditions.
  • Federal Reserve (Fed) Vice Chair Richard Clarida delivered a speech in which he said the economy is on track to allow the Fed to start removing support. He said there could be an announcement later this year about tapering a liftoff for rates in 2023.
  • Brazil’s central bank hiked its policy rate by one percentage point and indicated it would hike again in September. The central bank wants to curb rising inflation expectations.
  • The Bank of England kept the stance of monetary policy unchanged but signaled it might need to shift to tightening as a lot of monetary policy committee members think the conditions for tightening have been met.

 

Politics:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new eviction moratorium that’s set to expire October 3. The previous moratorium expired July 31. In President Biden’s remarks before announcing the new measure, he said he wasn’t sure the Supreme Court would uphold the moratorium if it’s challenged in court.
  • The Senate seemed poised—as of Friday, August 6—to vote on an infrastructure package over the weekend.

 

The week to come

  • On Monday, we get data on China’s loan growth. On Tuesday, we get a reading of U.S. small business sentiment. On Wednesday, U.S. inflation numbers for July are released. On Thursday, the U.K. releases gross domestic product and industrial production numbers. On Friday, the preliminary reading of U.S. consumer sentiment is released.
  • On Thursday, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey and the Central Reserve Bank of Peru both have policy statements coming out.

 

Thanks for reading, stay informed!

 

 

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