Hurricanes Harvey, Irma sink U.S. payrolls in September
U.S. employment fell in September for the first time in seven years as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma left displaced workers temporarily unemployed and delayed hiring, the latest indication that the storms undercut economic activity in the third quarter. The Labor Department said on Friday nonfarm payrolls decreased by 33,000 jobs last month amid a record drop in employment in the leisure and hospitality sector. The drop in payrolls was the first since September 2010. The Department said Harvey and Irma, which wreaked havoc in Texas and Florida in late August and early September, had reduced “the estimate of total nonfarm payroll employment for September.” Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls increasing by 90,000 jobs last month. The government revised data for August to show 169,000 jobs created that month instead of the previously reported 156,000.
TREASURIES-U.S. yields jump after U.S. non-farm payrolls data
U.S. Treasury debt yields rose on Friday after data showed the world’s largest economy lost jobs last month due to the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but details of the report such as the unemployment rate and wage growth suggested an improving labor market. The Labor Department said on Friday nonfarm payrolls fell by 33,000 jobs last month amid a record drop in employment in the leisure and hospitality sector. But the unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent, the lowest since February 2001. The average hourly earnings, meanwhile, increased 12 cents or 0.5 percent in September after rising 0.2 percent in August. In early trading, the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield rose to its highest since July 11 and was last at 2.387 percent. The 30-year yield also climbed to its strongest level since August 1, and last traded at 2.916 percent.
EU to single out Chinese imports in report on market distortions
China will be singled out for special attention under new trade rules to limit excessively cheap imports into the European Union, a European Commission official said on Thursday. The Commission, member states and EU lawmakers agreed on Tuesday to treat all World Trade Organization members the same in determining whether they are dumping products. Under normal circumstances, dumping will mean selling below domestic prices, but the EU will make exceptions for cases of “significant market distortions”, allowing investigators to compare export prices with international benchmarks. The Commission has said it would produce reports on major countries where it suspects such distortions prevail. For the time being, however, it will produce only one. “China will come out first,” said a Commission official who requested not to be named. ”There is no clear plan to do other reports than for China. “It is resource-intensive,” the official continued, adding that the absence of a report on a given country did not mean EU producers could not point to distortions there.
Brazil inflation slows less than expected in September
Brazil’s inflation rate slowed less than expected in September, suggesting the pace of price hikes may have bottomed out near 18-year lows. Consumer prices as measured by the IPCA index rose 2.54 percent from the year before, down from 2.56 percent through mid-September, government statistics agency IBGE said on Friday. The reading came in above the 2.47 percent increase predicted by economists surveyed by Reuters, only the second in the last nine bi-weekly releases to do so. It surprised even the most accurate forecaster, the Rosenberg Associados consultancy, which had forecast a 2.45 percent rate. Higher fuel prices accounted for most of the increase, with gasoline rates rising an average 2.22 percent from August. State-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA repeatedly hiked prices throughout the month after recent hurricanes in the United States shut down oil terminals across the northern Caribbean. Nevertheless, the annual rate remained far below the bottom-end of the central bank’s target range, of 4.5 percent plus or minus 1.5 percentage point, supporting bets that it may undershoot the goal for the fist time ever this year.