(Bloomberg) -- America’s labor market probably extended its rebound in August to push the unemployment rate below 10% for the first time since the pandemic struck.
With little more than two months before the U.S. election, reattaining that milestone in this week’s jobs report could provide ammunition for President Donald Trump to claim the economy is sustaining a recovery under his leadership. His Democratic opponents, led by Joe Biden, are likely to question whether such improvement can durably continue as America struggles to control the coronavirus.
Employers probably added 1.4 million workers to payrolls, not far from July’s result of 1.76 million, according to a Bloomberg survey ahead of Friday’s Labor Department report, which covers the period through mid-August. Economists see the jobless rate at 9.8%, almost triple its level before the pandemic.
The headline payrolls number is likely to reflect a boost from about 238,000 temporary workers hired to conduct the decennial U.S. census. While the overall gains reflect additional business reopenings and an ebbing of Covid-19 cases, the economy remains fragile with the disease untamed.
Weekly jobless-claims figures due Thursday will give a more current sense of the state of the labor market following a report that showed improvement with some caveats.
What Bloomberg’s Economists Say...
“The August employment report could deliver the last positive payrolls print before job losses strike again. The disrupted back-to-school process will be a test ahead of the holiday shopping season. For reported net hiring to keep rising, the recovery in the labor market must be robust enough to overcome seasonal factors calling for strong gains over the coming months.”
--Yelena Shulyatyeva and Eliza Winger. For full preview, click here
Elsewhere, India, Turkey and Brazil will publish second-quarter GDP data and a slew of central bankers is scheduled to speak.
Click here for what happened last week and below is our wrap of what else is coming up in the global economy.
U.S. and Canada
Investors digesting the Federal Reserve’s historic announcement last week that it would take a more relaxed attitude toward inflation will get a triple dose of input from top policy officials before the central bank enters its pre-meeting quiet period.
Vice Chair Richard Clarida kicks things off on Monday with a speech on the Fed’s new monetary policy framework, followed by Governor Lael Brainard on Tuesday speaking on the same topic and New York Fed President John Williams discussing the economy and Covid-19 on Wednesday.
With blackout starting at midnight Friday ahead of the Sept. 15-16 policy meeting, these three probably provide the greatest hope for hints on what to expect in terms of reinforced forward guidance or changes to the Fed’s bond purchases.
In Canada, a report on Friday is set to show the economy added 250,000 in August, a fourth straight month of gains.
For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for the U.S.
Europe, Middle East, Africa
Euro-area inflation numbers on Tuesday are forecast to show a tepid rate of just 0.2% this month, while unemployment data due the same day will probably reveal an increase in July. That’s ahead of German factory orders on Friday that will likely indicate the pace of recovery slowed.
The faltering rebound and the worry over resurging coronavirus cases will have investors scouring comments by European Central Bank officials. Vice President Luis de Guindos, Chief Economist Philip Lane, and Governing Council members Jens Weidmann, Klaas Knot and Robert Holzmann are all scheduled to make appearances before the ECB’s quiet period sets in ahead of its Sept. 10 policy decision.
Meanwhile, Bank of England policy makers, including Governor Andrew Bailey, are due to testify before U.K. lawmakers on Wednesday.
In Ukraine, the central bank meets on Thursday, with economists split on a possible rate cut.
Figures on Monday may show Turkey’s economy contracted by 10.1% in the second quarter, while a report on Thursday is expected to show inflation accelerated to 11.9% in August. The former data point will put more pressure on the central bank to keep interest rates low -- as demanded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Numbers on Monday will probably show inflation remained muted in Kenya in August, but picked up further in Uganda.
For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for EMEA
China’s August PMI reports will be closely watched on Monday for signs the recovery in the world’s second-largest economy is gaining momentum. Manufacturing surveys from across the region follow on Tuesday.
India will release its second quarter GDP data, with analysts expecting an historic contraction due to the world’s biggest lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19. Analysts will also watch Japan’s industrial production and retail sales as a second wave of the virus spreads.
The Reserve Bank of Australia meets on Tuesday with no change in policy expected, and on Wednesday second quarter GDP data will confirm the economy’s slide into recession. Speeches by Bank of Japan board members on Wednesday and Thursday are also due.
In South Korea, August trade data set for release Tuesday are expected to show the export slump worsening again after three months of improvement.
For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for Asia
On Monday, Colombia’s central bank is set to cut its key rate to a record-low 2%. Inflation is below target and while economic activity is off April lows, output is forecast to fall as much as 7.9% in 2020. The minutes are published the next day.
On Tuesday, Brazil is the last of the region’s major economies to report April-June output: the quarterly plunge may not hit double-digits but the year-on-year result certainly will. A still-simmering pandemic, tight budgets and palace intrigue will challenge the recovery.
Chile’s central bank will hold its key rate at a record-low 0.5%. Expectations are that it will provide additional stimulus to aid the recovery before year-end -- which could include buying Treasury bonds in the secondary market.
For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for Latin America
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