Not Much to Cheer About
- Employment growth disappointed in June as only 80,000 jobs were created. The unemployment rate held at 8.2 percent, but the underemployment rate inched up to 14.9 percent. Average hourly earnings increased modestly.
- Both the ISM manufacturing and services indices declined in June. While new orders and production fell back, falling input costs should help support margins. Amid the weakness, employment held its ground.
- Factory orders rose in May but are trending at weak levels. Construction spending grew solidly in May.
Further Monetary Easing by Foreign Central Banks
- The People’s Bank of China cut its benchmark lending rate for the second time in four weeks. The move should help foster growth, at least on the margin, although it should be viewed in the context of the ongoing process to liberalize the Chinese financial system.
- The Bank of England maintained its main policy rate at 0.50 percent, but it chose to increase the size of its asset purchase program for the sixth time.
- The European Central Bank reduced its main policy rate to an all-time low of 0.75 percent