A record fall in pending home sales and a slowdown in the construction market contributed to a sluggish outlook for the economy Thursday, highlighting the significance of government stimulus measures and job growth.
The economic indicators were the latest features that economists and analysts used to gauge the pace of the economic recovery. But all eyes are on the monthly employment figures scheduled for release Friday, which are expected to show a net loss of 125,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in June, and an unemployment rate of 9.8 percent, compared with 9.7 percent in May.
According to new statistics, pending homes sales and construction both declined in May. In addition, figures showed that while manufacturers recorded some gains in June, the pace of activity in that sector slowed last month compared with May and also came in slightly below estimates.
“The idea of a growth slowdown in the second half of 2010, a long-held belief of ours, is catching on as the data increasingly reinforces this idea,” said Dan Greenhaus, the chief economic strategist for Miller Tabak and Company.