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Further Improvements In US Employment Data

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Further Improvements In US Employment Data

The US has just updated the markets with both trade and employment data. On the trade side information has been released relating to price growth in imports and exports. The March Import Price Index is showing a rise of 0.6% month on month against a consensus estimate of 0.2% and a January reading of 0.9%. The year on year change in import prices is -0.6% versus an expectation for a 0.9% contraction and a January reading of -1.1%.

Export prices also grew in March, the month on month Export Price Index came in at 0.8% against a consensus estimate of 0.2% and a prior reading of 0.6%. Year on year this figure was a positive 0.2% versus a contraction of 1.3% in January.

On the employment side this week’s Initial Jobless Claims figure was down to 300k from the previous week’s report of 326k, this was also an improvement on the consensus expectation of 320k. The Continuing Jobless Claims number also fell accordingly, a total unemployment number of 2.776M was reported in contrast to the previous week’s reading of 2.838M, the expectation here was for a figure of about 2.850M.

The unemployment statistics today are further reinforcing the good news story surround the US recovery. The overall trend in employment is not just moving in the right direction it is also doing so at continually improving pace.

Nobody is doubting that the improvements in the US employment situation are becoming more evident, the problem however is the structural nature of the employment pick up. A rising portion of the new jobs being created in the US economy are of a temporary or part time nature. Whereas this is positive for the statistics it has a muted impact on economic activity. The Fed has recently acknowledged that this is a challenging feature of the recovery and that it will be closely monitoring the situation going forward.

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