Thursday, March 26, 2015

Friday: Yellen, GDP, Consumer Sentiment

by Bill McBride on 3/26/2015 08:44:00 PM

From Merrill Lynch on the March employment report:

The recent employment reports have been exceptionally strong with job growth averaging 293,000 a month for the past six months. Although we expect a slight moderation in March with job growth of 270,000, this would still be a healthy number. ...

Despite strong job growth, we think the unemployment rate will tick up to 5.6%. ... The risk is that the labor force participation rate increases, reversing the decline in February. As always, the focus will be on wages. We look for a 0.2% gain, an improvement from the 0.12% increase in February. This would leave the yoy rate at 2.0%. We think the risk, however, is that average hourly earnings surprises on the upside relative to our forecast.
Friday:
• 8:30 AM ET, Gross Domestic Product, 4th quarter 2014 (third estimate). The consensus is that real GDP increased 2.4% annualized in Q4, up from the second estimate of 2.2%.

• At 10:00 AM, the University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (final for March). The consensus is for a reading of 91.8, up from the preliminary reading of 91.2, but down from the February reading of 95.4.

• Also at 10:00 AM, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly), February 2015

• At 3:45 PM, Speech, Fed Chair Janet Yellen, Monetary Policy, At the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Conference: The New Normal for Monetary Policy, San Francisco, Calif