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April 05, 2006

And The Fourth Rider Came Upon A Pale Horse... And His Name Was "Cowbell"

Don't count your cowbells before they clang, but if Treasury Secretary John Snowe is raising expectations for Friday's job numbers, I'm inclined to think he might know something:

Treasury Secretary John Snow on Wednesday said he expects payroll data on Friday to reflect a strong economy that will increase federal tax revenues and help to shrink budget deficits.

Testifying before a House of Representatives Appropriations subcommittee on the Treasury's proposed fiscal 2007 budget, Snow said he believed the U.S. economy would continue its growth path as long as Congress extends tax cuts.

"It's continuing to gain strength. I look forward to the jobs numbers that we'll be reporting on Friday. I think they'll be good numbers," Snow said.

The Labor Department is scheduled to issue non-farm payroll data for February at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Friday. Economists polled by Reuters forecast a March increase of 190,000 jobs versus a 243,000 gain in February, along with an unchanged unemployment rate of 4.8 percent.

Snow also said he is looking forward to strong figures for first quarter gross domestic product due later this month, noting that private sector economists forecast first quarter growth of 4 to 5 percent.

Based on his raising of expectations, I have hopes the numbers will exceed the economists' forecasts.

No cowbell for numbers that haven't actually been released yet. That would just cheapen the solemnity of the Golden Cowbell, held secretly in the Temple of Solomon for 1000 years until the Knights Templar brought it to England and then, in 1888, to America.

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posted by Ace at 02:38 PM

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