The U.S. jobs numbers are out -- 132,000 new jobs – unemployment rate is 4.5% - and average hourly earnings are up 0.2%. On this morning's "Squawk Box," Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody’s.com, along with CNBC’s Ron Insana and Steve Liesman sifted through all the data and weighed in on what it means.
Insana quoted a newsletter he had seen recently which said that if you look at autos and housing--9% of the economy is in recession, which means 91% is not. So you’ll have a drag from that 9%, but you’ll have a cushion from the rest of the economy. He said the Goldilocks (or soft landing--where the economy is not too hot or too cold) scenario is still working.
Steve Liesman explained that the service sector added 172,000 jobs and manufacturing lost jobs. That prompted him to ask. "Can we have a manufacturing decline and the service sector unaffected?:
Mark Zandi said yes. He added that the value of what we produce, is the design of the product--and how the product is financed and all the things that go around the product. That’s what creates a lot of wealth and a lot of jobs. (And that holds whether we’re manufacturing or selling services.)
Zandi also said he interprets these numbers to mean the U.S. economy is sturdy and there’s solid growth. He also said, “I’m a little bit surprised that we haven’t seen a slowing in the job market - it isn’t consistent with the slowdown in GDP. I anticipate seeing slowing job creation in the months ahead. Also, if we see these kinds of numbers continue, the Fed will likely tighten again. 132,000 is inflationary. This isn’t the kind of growth that will elicit a Fed ease."