Not even 5 mintues ago we predicted that Goldman would lower its 150,000 NFP forecast to 125,000. Well, even we were off. Hatzius just cut his Friday NFP forecast to 100,000. Just like last August when the horrendous NFP number set off QE2, so Wall Street is in full panic mode, as it tries to find a way to crush stocks enough to give Bernanke validation for QE3, but without getting retail to throw in the towel for the last time. Still to come: the firm trimming H2 GDP to under 3%. We give it a few days. Elsewhere, Joe Lavorgna is dry heaving in a corner somewhere, trying to find a way not to look like a complete idiot for having to cut his NFP forecast two days in a row, from 300,000 to under 150,000.
Another Weak Report; Lowering Payroll Forecast to 100k
BOTTOM LINE: ISM report weakens substantially, confirming significant slowing in growth in manufacturing sector. We are lowering our forecast for May nonfarm payroll employment to +100,000 from +150,000 previously.
1. The ISM manufacturing index weakened sharply in May, falling to 53.5 from 60.4 in April. The new orders and production components both fell by roughly 10 points-very large declines by historical standards. The employment index held up better, but also fell to 58.2 from 62.7. We continue to believe that supply chain disruptions in the auto sector resulting from the events in Japan are one factor behind the abrupt weakening in the manufacturing surveys. However, it cannot explain all of the weakness in the recent data, including that seen in measures of employment growth.
2. We are lowering our forecast for May nonfarm payroll employment to +100,000 from +150,000 previously. While the ADP report has a mixed tracked record in forecasting payroll growth, our research indicates it should receive some weight. Moreover, the weakness in the ADP report follows a streak of weaker-than-expected news on both the labor market and activity as whole. We are holding our forecast for the unemployment rate at 8.9% and for average hourly earnings growth at 0.2% mom.