Weekly Economic Update: March 31-April 4, 2014

Apr 07 2014

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Vehicle sales increased 6.9% in March to a higher-than-expected 16.40 million annual rate. The ISM index increased a half-point to 53.7 for March. Construction spending inched up 0.1% in February. Factory orders increased 1.6% in February. The U.S. trade deficit widened $3.2 billion to $42.3 billion in February. The ISM services index rose 1.5 point to 53.1 in March. The economy added 192,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in March while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7%. Initial jobless claims rose 16,000 to 326,000 for the week ended 3/29.

• Vehicle sales increase 6.9% in March to a higher-than-expected 16.40 million annual rate. Sales are up 7.1% from a year ago.

• The ISM index increased a half-point to 53.7 for March.

• Construction spending inched up 0.1% in February. Spending is up 8.7% from a year ago.

• Factory orders increased 1.6% in February.

• The U.S. trade deficit widened $3.2 billion to $42.3 billion in February. The report notes that the winter Olympics played a role in the wider-than-expected reading. Exports declined 1.1%, and imports rose 0.4%.

• The ISM services index rose 1.5 points to 53.1 in March.

• The economy added 192,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in March while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7%. Private payroll job growth was 192,000, as government employment remained unchanged. Job growth averaged 183,000 per month over the prior 12 months. The number of unemployed persons remained little changed at 10.5 million, and the number of long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks or longer) was little changed at 3.7 million, accounting for 35.8% of the unemployed. The labor force participation rate (63.2%) and the employment-to-population ratio (58.9%) were also little changed. With revisions for January and February, employment gains were 37,000 higher than previously reported.

• Initial jobless claims rose 16,000 to 326,000 for the week ended March 29th.

 

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