Coming up at 11.30am Sydney time, 8.30pm US Eastern time:
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- One of the most closely watched employment prints in a long time.
- a bounce is likely. We forecast 47K jobs were added in February, the participation rate rising to 66.6%, keeping the unemployment rate unchanged at 3.7%
Société Générale provide reasoning for a rate hike from the Reserve Bank of Australia next month (RBA meeting is on the 4th)
- We expect February’s labour market data to show a sizeable gain (40K) in employment after seeing consecutive dips in the months of December and January.
- The contraction in employment during those months can partially be ascribed to the changing seasonal patterns in hiring. This would lead to a significant increase in February that will offset the seasonal anomaly. But we also believe that the slowdown in employment growth has materialised due to consumption weakness, which is likely to be seen in the sustained decline in three-month moving average of employment change (from 35 in November to 3 in February if our forecast is correct).
- The unemployment rate will likely decline a bit (3.6%), while the participation rate is likely to remain largely unchanged.
- Hours worked is also expected to pick up after experiencing contraction in three consecutive months, showing the underlying momentum in economic growth. In conclusion, we foresee that employment data will continue to show signs of an easing in labour market conditions.
- This would support our base scenario that the 25 bps hike in April will be the final one under the current tightening cycle.”