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Could the May 2017 NFP Data Be Positive for the Auto Industry?

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April non-farm payrolls

Non-farm payrolls (or NFP) data show the number of jobs added or lost each month in the US. In the first week of May 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the employment summary for April. The non-farm payroll change figure for April stood at 211,000—much higher than the market’s expectation of just 79,000.

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March data revision

On the day of the April data release, March’s NFP change of 98,000 was revised downward to 79,000, which reflected a negative bias.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, April’s non-farm payroll data stood at 146,063—higher than 145,852 in March. Mining and financial services were among the top sectors where employment continued to grow in April 2017.

Will May data be positive for autos?

According to Wall Street analysts’ estimates, the NFP could drop in May 2017 on a month-over-month basis. These estimates suggest a positive change of 186,000 in the NFP, which is lower than the 211,000 NFP change reported in April.

Among the other major macroeconomic indicators for the auto industry, non-farm payroll data acts as a key indicator. High employment growth in the country and increased wages could boost consumers’ purchasing power, encouraging them to buy consumer goods such as cars and trucks.

The US job market showed significant improvement in April. The continued growth of this trend in May NFP data could boost auto investors’ optimism regarding the future of auto sales in the US.

Mainstream automakers (XLY) such as General Motors (GM), Ford (F), Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), and Toyota (TM) make most of their revenues from the US market.

In the next article, we’ll look at consumer sentiment data for May 2017.

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