With Latest Data, U.S. Economy Finally Exceeds Expectations

Citigroup’s U.S. economic surprise index broke into positive territory for the first time since late April thanks to better-than-anticipated manufacturing and construction data released on Monday.

Oscillating expectations, rather than gyrations in the data, play the biggest role in driving this index’s ebbs and flows. With hurricanes already predicted to weigh on U.S. activity over the coming months -- the consensus estimate for September’s non-farm payrolls report calls for job growth of just 80,000 --- it remains to be seen whether the economy will be able to clear this lowered bar.

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