1/5: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

January job growth soars by 304,000, jobless rate edges up to 4.0 percent
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 304,000 in January, and the unemployment rate edged up to 4.0 percent. Job gains occurred in several industries, including leisure and hospitality, construction, health care, and transportation and warehousing.


November construction spending up 0.8 percent from October and 3.4 percent year-on-year
November construction spending rose 0.8 percent from October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.3 trillion, with housing rising 3.4 percent. Total outlays were also 3.4 percent higher than a year ago (up 0.6 percent for housing), and for the first 11 months of 2018, were 4.5 percent higher year-on-year.


Consumer sentiment remains subdued in late February survey
Consumer sentiment remained at month-end at its lowest level since Trump was elected. The end of the shutdown caused only a modest boost in the Sentiment Index. There is still time to avoid a sustained decline in confidence, but it would require an end to the standoff.