Shrinking productivity signals a Recession

The labor report for last month was very strong. More than 250,000 jobs were added after a decent July labor report. This achievement from the labor market just convinced the investors that US economy is doing well and risks are not serious as previously concerned. However, economic data from this week just erase this explanation away. Slowing down the peace to import oil and gas from China along with shrinking productivity in US again push the growth concern to the table. Without a clear explanation from Fed on its economic data, the market is confusing with the performance of indicators.

The longest stretch of productivity declines since the end of the 1970s is threatening to restrain U.S. worker pay and broader economic growth in the years ahead. Nonfarm business productivity, measured as the output of goods and services produced by American workers per hour worked, decreased at a 0.5% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the second quarter as hours increased faster than output, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

It was the third consecutive quarter of falling productivity, the longest streak since 1979. Productivity in the second quarter was down 0.4% from a year earlier, the first annual decline in three years and just the sixth year-over-year drop recorded since 1982.

Also for China, new released data showed a slowdown of importing energy goods. In the long term, companies in China barely have the willingness to buy more oil and gas from global markets even though the price stays significant lower than domestic price. The demand from china is going down while the global economy has not found an emerging country to build a robust growth to sustain the global economy.

China’s imports of crude oil, coal and natural gas slowed in July, offering no solace for producers hoping demand from the world’s largest energy consumer may help mop up global gluts of the fuels.

The nation imported about 7.35 million barrels a day last month, the slowest pace since January, according to data Monday from the General Administration of Customs. Inbound shipments of coal slipped 2.5 percent from June, while natural gas slumped more than 13 percent.

Global gas markets will remain oversupplied until 2018, and demand and supply won’t align until 2021 as capacity to liquefy and export natural gas jumps 45 percent through 2021, the IEA said in June.

Leave a Comment