The visible hand in economics

September quarter QES and LCI – what happened?

Posted on: November 3, 2008

I do not know what happened, as I am writing this post several days before the results came out.

So what did happen?

Key statistics for me are:

  • Hours worked:  How much did they decline?  This is the “labour input” in its entirety – if domestic activity is declining this will tell us.
  • Retail/construction/wholesale/business and property services employment:  These sections of the labour market should be getting hammered – are they?
  • Hours x average hourly pay:  How is nominal household income growing?  If this slows sharply then we should start to be concerned
  • Adjusted labour cost index:  This is an indication of true, fundamental, inflationary pressure – I suspect that quarterly growth will be over 1% (given that September is typically strong for wage claims), however market expectations are lower.  A result under 0.5% for the quarter is weak – and suggests that slowing economic activity is taking down inflationary pressures.

Give me a run down so I can read it in a couple of weeks 😉


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