A very quiet US trading session as stock and foreign exchange moved in a minimal range as the spillover from the United Kingdom bank holiday effected volatility.
However, we did some data releases today as US wholesale inventories remained unchanged for the second consecutive month in March 2023, according to revised data.
The report is lower than the initial estimate of 0.1 percent growth. On a yearly basis, wholesale inventories rose by 9.1 percent in March, which prompted mixed sentiment.
The data showed that stocks of durable goods were stagnant compared to the previous month, as the increase in inventories of automotive (1.5 percent vs 2.0 percent) and machinery were offset by declines in stocks of electrical, and professional equipment (-0.1 percent vs -0.2 percent), among others.
Meanwhile, inventories of non-durable goods fell by 0.2 percent (vs -0.7 percent in February), mainly due to the decline in stocks of petroleum, farm products and groceries.
We also got jobs data of sorts as the Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) rose to 116.18 in April, up from a revised 115.51 in March 2023.
The ETI, a leading composite index for employment, suggests that job gains will likely continue, though at a slower pace in the coming months. The labour market remains strong, but some softening is visible across several indicators, including job openings, quits, layoffs, and compensation growth.
The Conference Board anticipates a short and mild recession starting in 2023, with substantial weakening in job growth or monthly job losses occurring later in the year.
This complex situation of labour shortages and recession risk poses challenges for employers, as they navigate workforce expansion, reduction, or maintenance.
The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) is basically a leading composite index for employment that aggregates eight key labour market indicators.
These indicators have proven to be accurate in their respective areas and combining them into a composite index helps filter out noise to reveal underlying employment trends more clearly. When the ETI increases, it suggests that employment is likely to grow, and when it decreases, employment is likely to decline.