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February Payroll Data and Future Auto Sales

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February 2018 non-farm payroll data

US NFP (non-farm payroll) data shows the number of jobs lost and added each month in the country. The employment summary for February 2018 was released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics on March 9. The NFP change figure for the month stood at 313,000—much higher than the market’s expectation of 210,000. On the day of the February data release, January’s NFP change of 200,000 was revised upward to 239,000, which added optimism.

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Non-seasonally adjusted data

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, February 2018 non-farm payrolls stood at 146,696, higher than the 145,472 reported in January 2018 and 139,343 in February 2017. Last month, employment opportunities continued to grow in the manufacturing, mining, retail trade, and construction sectors. In contrast, no major employment changes were seen in the leisure and hospitality, transportation, and warehousing sectors.

Possible impact on auto sales

For the auto sector, NFP data acts as a key macro indicator. Consistent employment growth, along with rising wages, should boost consumers’ purchasing power and increase disposable income. This higher disposable income generally encourages people to buy expensive consumer goods such as vehicles.

In February 2018, US NFP data showed improvements. Overall, a continued uptrend in NFP data could be positive for US auto sales. Mainstream automakers (VCR) Ford (F), General Motors (GM), Toyota (TM), and Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) make a big portion of their revenue from the United States. Therefore, higher US auto demand could help these auto giants grow their business. Continue to the next part to learn what recent consumer sentiment data suggests for auto companies.

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