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Jobs Lag, Leading Indicator Signals Slowdown: Pros
CNBC.com | March 09, 2012 | 01:42 PM EST

On Friday investors were trying to figure out if the the latest jobs report was an early sign that bull was about to charge.According to the Labor Department, employers added 227,000jobs last month; that makes the last 3-months the best months for hiring since the recession began. But jobs are a lagging indicator. The Fast Money pros were more interested in leading indicators and Citi strategist Tobias Levkovich tells us leading indicators that he follows suggest there’s at least some cause for concern .

“One of the best leading indicators has been the Federal Reserve Board Survey for Commercial and Industrial Lending Activity. It leads job trends by about 9 months, consistently” And Levkovich says the activity isn’t bullish. “What the data is telling us now is that the job growth that our economy has been enjoying will slow down. And that’s without the impact of higher gas prices. That’s only the (ripple) from a slow Europe filtering back.”He goes on to say, “I’m worried about Europe – the bite from austerity programs is still to come. That will be a little bit of a drag.”And in the near-term Levkovich sees another negative catalyst, the Citi Economic Surprise Index suggests aggressive areas of the market are due for a pullback, statistically.

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