Citigroup US economic surprise indicator: autumn slowdown seems to be over
Seasonal adjustment factors for employment
Looking ahead, we are about to enter the period of the most pronounced seasonality. In turn, what we witnessed during summer and autumn might be even more pronounced during the upcoming months. Just one example is retail hiring and firing. Usually retail hiring is strong during October and November in the run up to Christmas (see chart below, courtesy of CalculatedRisk). However, especially last year but also this year has seen less hiring than usual. If less people are hired for the pre-Christmas period, less people will be fired again going into January.
Given the large likelihood that the usual seasonal economic weakness is likely to be less pronounced than seasonal adjustment factors assume, seasonally adjusted economic data for December and January is likely to show a healthier momentum than the data for autumn.