Goldman Sachs: Five Hopeful Signs for the Second Half

Goldman Sachs: Five Hopeful Signs for the Second Half

by CalculatedRisk on 7/01/2011 02:40:00 PM

Note: I’ll post a graph of June vehicle sales, probably around 4 PM ET (after all the data is released).

In a research note released today, Goldman Sachs economist Andrew Tilton listed five hopeful signs for the 2nd half of 2011:

First, commodity prices have eased. Using a standard seasonal adjustment procedure, retail gasoline prices are back to end-2010 levels.

Second, despite the increase in interest rates this week, financial conditions are easier than at any point in 2010. Bank lending standards remain tight, but these too are easing on the margin.

Third, the decline in house prices may be abating.

Fourth, vehicle production has rebounded following large disruptions due to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Fifth, labor market indicators seem to have stabilized after some worrying readings in late April and May, although we’ll have to wait until next Friday’s June employment report for a more definitive assessment. … We expect an increase of 125,000 payroll jobs, with the unemployment rate dropping back to 9.0%.

CR note: The recent increase in house prices is mostly seasonal, and I expect house prices to decline NSA (Not Seasonally Adjusted) late this year. But it does appear the pace of house price declines has slowed.

The improvement in vehicle production will probably show up as an increase in sales in July and August. Yesterday, from Edmunds.com: Ford: Industry Car Sales to Rise after June “[Ford Motor Co.’s chief sales analyst George] Pipas said July should be improved but it won’t be until at least August before the U.S. industry returns to a 13 million or more SAAR.”

I’ll post the June auto sales numbers soon, but the real pickup should be in Q3.

I was expecting employment to pickup in July, but Goldman thinks there will be an increase in June to 125,000 payroll jobs added compared to only 54,000 in May. That would be great news.

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