The government released some economic numbers this week for February. The ISM manufacturing rose to 60.8 from 58.7 and services fell from 58.7 to 55.3. Both numbers are well above the 50% breakpoint between shrinkage and expansion. Manufacturing is unusually strong. Construction spending spiked 1.7%, over twice expected, and well above the 1.1% for January.
The economy is making strides to bounce back but it didn’t show up in the employment numbers as we gained only 117,000 jobs in February and the unemployment number remained the same at 6.3%. This is a concern as there will be no full recovery without jobs. Covid left industries devastated such as restaurants and hospitality. It may take time for those two to recover along with entertainment and travel. We are not out of the woods yet and the path is going to be longer than most are predicting.