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Is the U.S. economy slipping into recession? All eyes on key economic data; Update: Dismal jobs report; ISM manufacturing index declines

Economists, investors, traders, and political analysts are waiting with bated breath for several market-moving data releases this morning.

The most important one: May nonfarm payrolls, due to be released by the Department of Labor at 8:30 am eastern time. According to the Wall Street Journal, economists expect nonfarm payrolls to rise by 158,000 after last month’s smaller-than-expected gain of 115,000.

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Other key economic indicators to be released today are personal-income growth (expected to slow to 0.3% from 0.4%) and the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index (expected to drop to 54.0 from 54.5).

These economic indicators always get a lot of attention, but today’s numbers are seen as particularly significant in light of recent signs of an economic slowdown: weak figures this week from the Chicago Business Barometer, Automatic Data Processing’s employment estimate, a downward revision to first-quarter economic growth, and a recent rally in the U.S. bond market. (Bonds perform well when economic growth is expected to be weak.)  Also, today’s releases come during a heated presidential campaign and just a few weeks prior to a rate-setting meeting of the Federal Reserve.

Twitchy will update this post with Twitter reaction as the numbers come in.

UPDATE:

The numbers are in and they’re awful, leading to growing concern that we’re slipping into another recession. This is terrible news for President Obama, but even worse news for the country.

Nonfarm payrolls failed to meet expectations again and unemployment is up:

Other key figures:

https://twitter.com/JohnGjika/status/208537787815829507

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Reaction:

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https://twitter.com/NathanWurtzel/statuses/208541932819980289

Politicians weigh in:

From a Romney campaign statement:

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UPDATE 2:

The ISM manufacturing index decreased more than expected to 53.5.

https://twitter.com/zerohedge/status/208560009624289280

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