Consumers have reason for cautious optimism — and reason to worry.
On the glass-is-half-full side of the ledger, inflation may not yet have turned a corner, but the tea leaves are positive.
The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the core personal consumption expenditures price index — a key measure of inflation closely watched by the Federal Reserve — rose 0.2% in October from a month before.
That’s a slower pace of growth than the 0.5% seen in September — an indication, perhaps, that months of rate hikes are finally having the desired effect of cooling the economy.
At the same time, though, the rate of job cuts in November was more than five times greater than a year ago, according to the latest tabulations from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Nearly 77,000 jobs were eliminated last month, mostly in the tech sector. That’s an increase of 127% from October and 417% from a year ago.
“The Tech sector has announced the most job cuts this year by far. While other industries are cutting jobs at a slower pace, hiring appears to have slowed as well,” Senior Vice President Andrew Challenger said in a statement.
The layoffs are in line with recent surveys showing that many economists and CEOs expect an economic downturn, and possibly a recession, next year.
The trend among large employers seems to be that cutbacks are a prudent move to stay ahead of the fiscal hits expected in coming months.
This is especially prevalent among media companies that are seeing significant reductions in ad revenue.
From Meta and Twitter to CNN and the Washington Post, layoffs have either been announced recently or are currently under way.
The November jobs report comes out from the Labor Department on Friday. Expect it to show further weakening of the employment market.