For entries of the Meltdown series before December 2010, visit www.keithhunt.com/meltdown.html.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
PROTESTANT PROPHETS...should ride off into the sunset AND disappear
ARE YOU GETTING IT YET?..... PEOPLE LIKE DAVID JEREMIAH AND HIS KIND, WITH THEIR PROPHECIES FROM 2010 ETC. OF THE ECONOMIC DESTRUCTION AND FALL OF THE USA, ONE WORLD ORDER AND THE ANTI-CHRIST APPEARING, SO INTO THE LAST YEARS BEFORE JESUS RETURNS..... ARE PROVED TO BE FALSE PROPHETS. CORRECT BIBLE PROPHECY THEY HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT....THEY ARE THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND - THE USA IS STILL THE NUMBER ONE ECONOMY IN THE WORLD, AND MAKING PROGRESS TO STAY THERE - Keith Hunt
Consumer Spending Rises as Hiring Picks Up
By Dow Jones Business News, December 03, 2014, 02:35:00 PM EDT
Hiring Picks Up Broadly, but Wages Growth Is Muted
U.S. businesses added jobs across the country and sectors in October and November, though wage gains were muted outside a handful of fields facing a shortage of skilled workers, according to a Federal Reserve survey of regional economic conditions.
The Fed's latest "beige book" for the period through Nov. 24 was broadly upbeat, marked by expanding economic activity across most of the country and optimism about growth prospects. The collection of anecdotal reports from the 12 Fed districts on hiring, spending and other aspects of the economy comes as central bankers get set for a Dec. 16-17 monetary-policy meeting where they will confront a mix of economic crosscurrents including steady hiring alongside meager wage gains and low inflation.
"The tone of the Beige Book report was cautiously optimistic, suggesting that the Fed continues to see expansion continuing across much of the U.S.," said Gennadiy Goldberg, U.S. strategist at TD Securities.
A government report due Friday is expected to show nonfarm payrolls grew by a seasonally adjusted 230,000 in November and the unemployment rate held steady at 5.8%, according to economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. U.S. employers are on pace to post the best yearly gain in employment since 1999, though many of the new jobs are on lower- paying industries.
But economists are forecasting average hourly wages will rise only 0.2% in November from the prior month. In October, hourly earnings for private-sector workers rose 2% compared with a year earlier, not much above the inflation rate.
Wednesday's Fed report showed varied hiring trends across districts, though employers were widely increasing payrolls. New England firms added software and information-technology jobs; the New York district said financial firms were hiring more workers; Ohio and surrounding areas boosted manufacturing, construction and transportation payrolls; the mid- Atlantic region added to service-sector payrolls; and the Southeast saw "sizable" gains in leisure and hospitality employment.
High demand has led to difficulty finding workers in some fields, including engineering, legal, health-care, management, skilled manufacturing, construction and transportation. Still, overall wage inflation "remained subdued in October and November," the Fed said.
In one sign that labor markets may be tightening, the Fed's Atlanta district "noted nascent signs of wage pressures for lower-skilled jobs, whose wages have been flat for several years."
Alongside hiring, consumer spending appears to be a bright spot, with personal outlays trending higher in most districts, the Fed said. "Some contacts viewed lower gasoline prices as a contributing factor to higher consumer spending, and an early cold spell helped spur sales of winter apparel in several districts," the Fed said.
The national average retail price of regular gasoline fell to $2.778 a gallon in the week ended Monday, according to the Energy Information Administration, down 49.4 cents from a year earlier and the lowest price since late October 2010.
Those lower gasoline prices also boosted sales of light trucks and SUVs in the Philadelphia, Cleveland and Chicago districts, the Fed said.
To be sure, falling oil prices aren't good news for everyone. New England chemical manufacturers, which use natural gas to fuel their operations, complained they were losing their competitive edge to foreign companies that rely more heavily on oil for production.
In Texas, demand for oil-field services continued to grow. "Outlooks for next year, though still positive, were less optimistic than in the prior report, and contacts said that budgets were being revised and capital expenditures are expected to decline in response to lower oil prices," the Fed report said.
Officials in North Dakota said they "expect oil production to continue increasing over the next two years," despite recent declines in oil prices.
Inflation remained broadly muted, the Fed report said, in part because of cheaper gasoline.
U.S. inflation has come in below the Fed's 2% target for 2 1/2 years and is likely to continue falling short while energy prices remain subdued.
Fed officials in October ended the central bank's bond-buying stimulus program, a vote of confidence in the economy. Later this month, they will consider when to begin raising short-term interest rates, set near zero since the heights of the financial crisis in December 2008. The precise timing of the first hike remains uncertain, though most policy makers expect the first move some time next year.
The Fed in October repeated its pledge to keep rates near zero for a "considerable time" after the bond-buying program's end.
"If the labor market continues to strengthen, and if we see some signs of inflation beginning to increase, then the natural thing is to get the interest rates up," Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said on Tuesday.
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