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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Wells Fargo's Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary- February 3, 2012

- The unemployment rate declined for the fifth straight month to 8.3 percent in January, as the economy added 234,000 jobs.

. Jobs gains were concentrated in the professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing sectors, while job losses continued in the federal and local sectors.

. We remain skeptical that job growth in excess of 200,000 jobs per month will continue in the near term, as recent gains may have been helped by unseasonably warm weather.

  Our forecast calls for average gains of 155,000 jobs per month during 2012.

- Personal income rose 0.5 percent in January, the largest gain in ten months, while the savings rate rose to 4.0 percent as consumers cut back on spending.

- The ISM manufacturing index moved further into expansionary territory during January, increasing to 54.1, as rising export orders signaled that the effects of a Eurozone slowdown have yet to impact U.S. manufacturers.

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