Today's economic indicators show that the labor market remains tight, while manufacturing activity remains weak. That mix supports our soft-landing scenario with inflation continuing to moderate and the Fed done (or almost done) tightening. Consider the following:
(1) Consumer confidence. The labor market remains strong according to the March survey of consumer confidence conducted by the Conference Board. The “jobs hard to get” response remained very low at only 10.3%, while the “jobs plentiful” response edged down to 49.1%, which is historically high. The former is highly correlated with the unemployment rate, while the latter is highly correlated with the JOLTS job openings series (chart).