IFR Preview-major US economic data for release April 1

WHAT: Labor Department Employment Situation, March
WHEN: Friday 0830 EDT (1230 GMT)
FORECASTS                       Reuters    IFR       Previous
Nonfarm payrolls                +190,000   +190,000  +192,000
Private sector payrolls         +200,000   +205,000  +222,000
Unemployment rate (pct)         8.9        8.8       8.9
Manufacturing Payrolls          +30,000    +30,000   +33,000
Average workweek hours          34.3       34.3      34.2
Average hourly earnings (pct)   +0.2       +0.2      0.0
IFR COMMENTARY: "We expect that March employment numbers will
see numbers roughly in line with February's, with just a little
reversion from that month's weather-related rebound. Nonfarm
payrolls should rise about 190k, with private payrolls up 205k.
A slowly downward-drifting labor force participation rate
should bring the unemployment rate down to 8.8%, while average
hourly earnings get back on track at about +0.2% and the
workweek returns to 34.3 hours.
 February payrolls saw their first positive surprise for
several months, if only a modest one. We expect that the
one-off surge of 33k in construction payrolls (partly explained
by the weather) will come falling back down to just about +5k,
while manufacturing payrolls continue rising at about a 30k
pace and private services add 165k, the best reading since last
April.
 The household survey has been stunning with its persistent
improvement, which should now slow to a trickle, and only
supported by a labor force participation rate that stubbornly
drifts slowly downward. While relatively few people are being
fired these days, it will take considerable improvement in the
rate of hiring to bring people back into the labor force --
which will, in turn, drag heavily on the unemployment rate, if
and when it ever happens.
 Hourly earnings were flat in February after jumping 0.4% in
January, probably due to weather-related phenomena. We expect a
return to about-trend increases of roughly 0.2%. Revised
figures now have the workweek at 34.2 hours for seven of the
last eight months, but we suspect it has a good chance of
hitting 34.3 again soon given improved weather, if not in
March."
____________________________
WHAT: Commerce Department Construction Spending, February
WHEN: Friday 1000 EDT (1400 GMT)
FORECASTS (pct)     Reuters     IFR     Previous
                 -0.1        -0.4    -0.7
IFR COMMENTARY: "Whereas housing starts supported residential
spending in January (up 18.4% and 5.3% respectively) and
private nonresidential setbacks (down 6.9%) were responsible
for pulling construction spending down 0.7%, a reversal of
performances in February most likely depressed spending by
0.4%. Housing starts tanked from 618k to 479k (a drop of 23%)
and will most likely erase residential's advance and fall 6%.
The unusual prior declines in power and recreation projects --
in both private and public sectors -- likely led to a small
rebound in public spending, which should inch up 0.2%. In
addition to those rebounds, an additional correction in
lodging's recent decline (of 18.2%), as well as a pickup in
projects and hours worked with more lenient weather conditions,
should help to prop private nonresidential spending up 5%."
____________________________
WHAT: Department of Commerce Domestic Vehicle Sales, March
WHEN: Friday, no set time
FORECASTS                  Reuters    IFR     Previous
million unit annual rate   13.20      12.5    13.44
IFR COMMENTARY: "US auto production has slowed until the
uncertainty surrounding Japan-sourced supplies abates, and
sales can be argued as having moved in either direction, but
most likely fell from February's SAAR of 13.4 mln units to 12.5
mln in March. Whereas the sales rate for the first three months
of the year reflected consumers' confidence in an improved
economy, March's number will reflect consumers debating
purchasing decisions, in particular grappling with expectations
of rising gas prices and a shortage of Japanese model
availability. Although the pace of sales should have fallen
since February (but would still be an improvement of 7% from
last year), March has yet to deter auto forecasters vision for
a stronger 2011 (from '09 & '10), and we are still expecting 13
mln units sold."
____________________________
WHAT: Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing index,
 March
WHEN: Friday 1000 EDT (1400 GMT)
FORECASTS           Reuters     IFR     Previous
PMI                 61.0        60.8    61.4
IFR COMMENTARY: "The ISM index is likely to moderate just
slightly from February's 61.4 print to about 60.8. February's
was the strongest reading since May 2004, but a small decline
would still leave it indicating a solid rate of expansion.
 We look for modest declines in the new orders, production,
and employment components to be balanced by a rebound in the
inventories component, which last month fell into
contractionary territory for the first time since last June.
 We'll be watching the employment index, which has been
running a bit hotter than the actual increase in manufacturing
payrolls according to the BLS. Also of interest will be the
prices index, which ticked up from 81.5 to 82.0 in February,
indicating quick growth in input price pressure, though not
necessarily the ability to pass those increase through to the
consumer."
 For more Reuters consensus forecasts for U.S. indicators,
double-click on [ECI/US]
 -- by Theodore Littleton and Vimombi Nshom of IFR Markets,
a unit of Thomson Reuters.


IFR Preview-major US economic data for release April 1