Following Wednesday's blowout ADP report, which printed some 40K jobs higher than the highest estimate, the only possibility for tomorrow's nonfarm payroll report, the last major economic data point before the Fed's March 15th rate hike announcement, is to disappoint, especially in terms of wages (which in light of the recent downward revision of Q1 GDP by the Atlanta Fed to 1.2% is not out of the question). That possibility, however, is slim to none if one looks at Wall Street's forecasts, where virtually every sellside analyst boosted their NFP estimate in the hours after the ADP number. Still, with the market pricing in a 100% chance of a rate hike, only a very disappointing - think less than 100K - report will derail the Fed from hiking for the second time in three meetings.
Here are some of the more notable forecasts for tomorrow's number::
Bank of America 185K
Deutsche Bank 200K
Goldman Sachs 215K
Morgan Stanley 250K
Putting it all together, here is what Wall Street expects from the February payrolls report due out at 8:30am ET tomorrow morning:
Change in Nonfarm Payrolls: Exp. 193K (Prey. 227K, Dec. 157K)
Unemployment Rate Exp. 4.70% (Prey. 4.80%, Dec. 4.70%)
Average Hourly Earnings M/M Exp. 0.30% (Prey. 0.10%, Dec. 0.20%)
Consensus calls for an increase of 193K jobs in February, with the unemployment rate falling to 4.7% from 4.8%. Much of the focus could be on average hourly earnings for signs of inflationary pressure. Last month, average hourly earnings disappointed with Y/Y wage growth slowing to 2.5% from 2.9%. This month, average hourly earnings are expected to pick up to 2.7% Y/Y with monthly growth of 0.3%.
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