The truth tends to always lie "somewhere in the middle" and so it is with economic data or investment opinions in general. If those opinions come from top-rated experts then all the better. Below are those which some leading economists are providing to their clients following today's US non-farm payrolls report:
"While the flash PMIs for April suggested that the underlying pace of economic growth has been stronger than the official GDP data so far this year, the survey data suggest that pace has slowed since late last year to around 2.0% at the start of the second quarter, a rate of growth which historically generates around 100,000 extra jobs per month. On this basis, the surprise 288,000 rise in April may be the best we see for a while.
"While the overall picture from the employment report is therefore that adds to the sense that Fed talk will increasingly move towards the timing of the first rate hike and away from worries about whether the QE taper could cause the recovery to stall, the first rate rise still looks some way off." - Chris Williamson, Chief Economist, Markit
"As a good part of the employment surge, therefore, seems to represent a technical rebound from the lackluster gains during the winter months, one must not extrapolate the April strength into the future. That said, the bounce was certainly healthier (and came a month later) than we and most market participants expected. [...] The sharp decline in the unemployment rate has to be taken with a pinch of salt as it was again driven by a drop in the labor force. It should, however, not be completely dismissed." - Dr.Harm Bandholz, Chief US Economist, UniCredit Research
"That said, our preference is to look at average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees rather than the series for all workers. [...] This series was up 0.1% month-on-month and is now up 2.3% year-on-year, in line with our view that further declines in the unemployment rate will coincide with a gradual firming in wages. [...] the sharp decline in the participation rate may lead some to dismiss this report, but we would remind readers that the participation rate is flat over the last six months, in line with our view that a stronger labour market in 2014 and 2015 is likely to flatten out the recent participation rate decline, as opposed to sending the participation rate higher." - Michael Gapen, Barclays
"The above-consensus 288,000 increase in non-farm payrolls in April and the corresponding drop in the unemployment rate to a four-and-a-half-year low of 6.3% underline why the markets and the Fed were unconcerned by the near-stagnation in first-quarter GDP growth. (The consensus forecast was 218,000.) The unusually severe winter weather may have hit activity and employment in January and February, but the economy is making up for that now." - Paul Ashworth, Chief US Economist, Capital Economics