The ingredients are in place.
We’re more than halfway through Q2 and growth is perking up.
As we head into the final stretch of first quarter earnings season, results so far have been impressive. With over 460 of the 500 S&P 500 companies having reported, profits are up over 26% from a year ago (Thomson Reuters).
The profit cup runneth over – with 91% of S&P 500 firms having reported Q1 results through May 15, earnings are up over 26% vs a year ago (Thomson Reuters).
Analysts forecast strong gains throughout 2018, but is Q1 the peak?
If so, should we be concerned?
On May 4, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported April’s unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, the lowest in 17 years. Last week, the U.S. BLS reported that job openings rose 472,000 in March to 6.6 million. It’s the largest number of job openings recorded since the monthly survey began in late 2000.
Here’s another statistic. The number of individuals hired in March exceeded job openings by 1.1 million, a record going back to late 2000 (U.S. BLS). And here’s one more – the number of openings now matches the number of unemployed for the first time – see Figure 1.
Yes, the labor market is getting tight.