You May Want to Pay Extra Close Attention to the Economic Data This Week

A lot to be learned in economic reports this week
Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

The beginning of the month always has a lot of economic data. From the Non-Farm Payrolls report to ISM to Factory Orders, there's a ton for people to sift through. Typically the Jobs Report, which is scheduled to be released on Friday, sucks up the vast majority of attention.

But the week ahead might be different. Bloomberg Intelligence economists Carl Ricadonna and Josh Wright explain that in light of recent weak data, attention should be paid to all the numbers we get this week:

To be sure, market participants will be closely attuned to the March employment report when it is released on Friday, but assuming that the labor data show “more of the same” in terms of hiring momentum, the most important economic news of the week may come from other data releases. Economic forecasters are wondering how serious the current economic soft patch really is.

As you can see in this chart of the Bloomberg US Economic Surprise Index, economic data has been steadily below expectations throughout the year. The one exception has been labor data, which has been strong. The broad range of data this week will help determine whether this downtrend is a temporary blip or the start of something more worrisome.

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