Is the US economy losing momentum?

money.jpgIf it is ... it is from a relatively highly level but still the June data on the labour market spawned some concern amongst economics commenters. The FT has a reasonable round-up ...

'The US produced fewer jobs than expected last month, adding to evidence that the economy is losing momentum.

Non-farm payrolls rose by 121,000 in June, following an upwardly revised 92,000 in May.

The outcome was shy of the consensus expectation for job creation at 175,000. Over the past three months job creation has averaged just 108,000, down from 176,000 over the previous three months and below the level necessary to prevent unemployment from rising over the longer term.


“Subpar job growth in April. May and June indicates that the economy is slowing as anticipated,” he said. “A weaker housing market and higher gas prices have clamped down auto and retail sales, and this is feeding back into business investment, construction and job creation.”'

I call the FT's round-up only reasonable because if you really want to dig into the implications and comments on this data you want to see what Dave Altig has to say about it in terms of comments and references.  In the end the data still points to a further raise by the Fed in August which will come along side one by the ECB (I think) and presumably one by the BOJ as well. However, the Fed is perhaps approaching the inevitable point where the classical dilemma in monetary policy presents itself ... 

(from the FT) 

'With interest rates at a level considered neutral, further monetary tightening runs the risk of slowing the economy. But if inflation pressures do rise, the Fed may have little choice but to raise rates.'