(Bloomberg) -- The smallest gain in U.S. payrolls in six months need not presage the kind of slowdown that bedeviled the world’s largest economy for the past two years.
Rising auto sales, improving bank credit and stabilization of housing are among the signs the economy is more resilient now than it was around the same time in 2010 and 2011, according to Marisa Di Natale, an economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
“From where we sit right now, we think the economy looks fundamentally stronger,” Di Natale said. “Surveys of business and consumer confidence are better, the labor market data looks a lot better than it did last year, even some of the housing data looks better.”
Stocks and bond yields fell on May 4 after a report showing payrolls climbed 115,000 in April, less than the 160,000 median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 85 economists. The slowdown followed data showing the pace of economic expansion cooled in the first quarter, prompting concerns that another pickup in growth may again be sputtering.
In 2011, the economy was rocked by repeated shocks. Oil prices soared as a result of political upheaval in the Middle East, a tsunami and earthquake in Japan disrupted manufacturing supply chains, Europe’s debt woes deepened and U.S. lawmakers struggled to reach an accord to raise the debt ceiling.
Payroll growth slowed to an average monthly pace of 80,000 in the period from May through August 2011, from 207,000 in the first four months of the year.
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