Labor and Housing Data Highlights the Seismic Challenges U.S. Economy Faces

The rebound in the foreign exchange market on Wednesday was short lived as another wave of risk aversion hits currencies. US economic data was very weak with jobless claims rising to the highest level since 1982 and housing starts dropping 15.5 percent to the worst level ever. Starting with the labor market, continuing claims, which measure the number of people remaining on unemployment rolls rose to 4.607 million. So far we have seen 12 consecutive months of negative non-farm payrolls and as long as claims remain above 500k, we will continue to see net job losses in the US economy. If a bellwether like Microsoft can announce that they are planning to cut 5000 workers, more companies will follow suit especially smaller ones who may not have rainy day funds to weather the storm. In past recessions job cuts have lasted for a minimum of 15 months which means that non-farm payrolls may not turn positive until the second half of the year.

The housing market is crippled by the falling consumer wealth and tight credit markets. Even potential homeowners who actually have the money to by are having a very difficult time obtaining financing. Good credit ratings don’t really matter any more. with so much inventory still on the market, housing starts and building permits should continue to drop.

The labor and housing market data highlight the seismic challenges that the US economy faces but the dollar continues to benefit from safe haven flows. In times of economic uncertainty, investors flock into the lowest yielding currencies.

About Kathy Lien 235 Articles

Kathy Lien is an Internationally Published Author and Chief Strategist of, one of the world’s most popular online websites for currency research. Her trading books include the highly acclaimed, Day Trading the Currency Market: Technical and Fundamental Strategies to Profit form Market Swings (2005, Wiley); High Probability Trading Setups for the Currency Market E-Book (2006, Investopedia); and Millionaire Traders: How Everyday People Are Beating Wall Street at Its Own Game (2007, Wiley). As Chief Currency Strategist at FXCM, Kathy is responsible for providing research and analysis for DailyFX, the research arm of FXCM. She also co-edits the BK Forex Advisor, an Premium Service with Boris Schlossberg – one of the few investment advisory letters focusing strictly on the 2 Trillion/day FX market.

Kathy is also one of the authors of Investopedia’s Forex Education section and has written for, the Asia Times Online, Stocks & Commodities Magazine, MarketWatch, ActiveTrader Magazine, Currency Trader, Futures Magazine and SFO. She is frequently quoted by Bloomberg, Reuters, the Wall street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune and has appeared on CNN, CNBC, CBS and Bloomberg Radio. She has also hosted trader chats on EliteTrader, eSignal and FXStreet, sharing her expertise in both technical and fundamental analysis.

Visit: Kathy Lien

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.