ASA Phone Service Back Online
Jobs Data Indicate Slow Growth
Wall Street Journal (07/06/12) Jeffrey Sparshott
The U.S. added 80,000 jobs in June, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today, confirming that the labor market cooled off considerably in the second quarter. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a gain of 100,000 in payrolls. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.2%. Employment gains for May and April were basically unchanged. The number of new jobs created in May was revised up to 77,000 from an original estimate of 69,000, while April’s figure was revised down to 68,000 from 77,000.
CEO Confidence Declines
Conference Board News Release (07/05/12)
The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence, which had improved in the first quarter of this year, decreased in the second quarter. The measure now reads 47, down from 63 last quarter (a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses).
Chief executive officers’ assessment of current economic conditions has turned considerably negative. Only 17% claim conditions have improved compared with six months ago, down significantly from 67% last quarter. A more negative attitude was also expressed regarding their appraisal of their own industries. Now, just 22% of business leaders say conditions have improved, compared with 42% in the first quarter of this year.
Regarding profit expectations over the next 12 months, 64% of CEOs expect increases. Among CEOs who expect profits to rise, 46% say market and demand growth will be the primary driving force, while 29% cite cost reductions, and an additional 15% say new technology will serve as the main source of improvement. The remaining 10% cite price increases as the primary driver.
Service Sector Increases at Slowest Pace in Two Years
Associated Press (07/05/12)
The service sector in June grew at the slowest pace in nearly two and a half years, more evidence that the economy has weakened. However, those same companies increased hiring last month. The Institute for Supply Management reported on July 5 that its index of nonmanufacturing activity fell to 52.1 last month, from a May reading of 53.7, the lowest reading since January 2010. The survey’s employment index rose to 52.3, up from 50.8 in May.
ASA for You
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Effective at about noon Eastern time today, the phones were back in service at ASA headquarters. The main number is 703-253-2020.
Phone service had been down since last week’s severe storms that hit the metro Washington area.