Why so important? Because everyone is going to throw their caution to the wind re standard errors, revisions, and all the other good reasons to not make such a big deal out of these noisy, monthly numbers. And why’s that? Because of the taper.
I can’t claim to predict how markets will bounce tomorrow. Though the ADP number was a touch weak this morning (ADP is a private payroll data service that puts out a payroll number similar to the BLS’s private payroll number), markets held steady, still expecting the Fed to start reducing their monthly amount of asset buys later this month.
Perhaps if the numbers are weak enough (which will be a bad–I repeat–bad outcome!) it could cast doubts that they’ll begin to taper this month. I actually harbor such doubts already, based in no small part on the fact that even the suggestion of the taper already added a point to longer term rates, something I’m quite sure Ben and Janet (and others like myself who think we’re still not out of the woods) do not want to see right now. If so, I’d expect a pretty big bump up in equity markets, as they’ve consistently sold on the fear of taper and bought on the suggestion of more stimulus (i.e., more relative to what’s priced in, which is the taper starts this month).
On the other hand, under the assumption–a correct one, I’d say–that the Fed’s plans to taper in the Sept 17-18 meeting are not fully priced in, a very strong job number could lead to a selloff by convincing any holdouts that the taper is a pretty sure bet.
And yes, this is an example of the not-infrequent dynamic that what’s good for Main St. is seen as bad for Wall St. and visa versa.
FWIW, my model spits out 170K for payrolls, slightly below consensus. Here’s the Bloomberg consensus table:
I could see an upside surprise. I pay some attention to the productivity numbers’ impact on job growth, and we learned this AM that on a year/year basis, productivity was flat, 2012q2-2013q2 (up 0.3%). That implies the need for more workers to produce a given level of output.
OK, enough speculation. Sorry about that. Got carried away, and its still 17 hours until the release…not like I’m counting the minutes…
I’ll have first impressions shortly after the release.