Economic Update – US Jobs Underwhelm, UK & French Production Falls, Mexico Inflation Spikes, more…


Whilst a majority of mainstream media outlets are dedicating coverage to the United States launching missiles into Syria and an alleged terrorist attack in Sweden, here are some of the latest economic headlines from around the world that are not being widely reported.

CNBC: US created only 98,000 jobs in March, vs 180,000 expected

  • Nonfarm payrolls grew by just 98,000 in March though the unemployment rate fell to a 10-year low of 4.5 percent, according to a closely watched report Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Payrolls had been expected to increase by 180,000 in March, according to economists surveyed by Reuters.
  • Those not in the labor force rose slightly to 94.2 million. The ranks of the employed surged by 472,000. U.S. job creation misses forecasts in March, unemployment rate drops

  • Non-farm payrolls (NFP) rose just 98,000 in March, compared to the rise of 219,000 a month earlier that was revised from the initial increase of 235,000. The data missed the consensus estimate for the creation of 180,000 jobs.
  • The U6 unemployment rate, that includes those workers who are working part-time for purely economic reasons, decreased to 8.9% last month from February’s reading of 9.2%.

The Telegraph: 21st Century Fox takeover of Sky wins green light from Brussels

  • The European Commission has given the green light to Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox to acquire Sky for £11.7bn.
  • The EU anti-trust watchdog has given unconditional approval to the deal, saying the transaction would raise no competition concerns in Europe.
  • The deal still faces regulatory scrutiny from Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK.
  • The EU previously gave the green light to the mooted merger in 2012.

Market Watch: U.K. industrial output undershoots forecasts

  • U.K. industrial output shrank more than expected in February, data showed Friday, as manufacturing output declined and unseasonably warm temperatures reduced demand for electricity and gas.
  • In monthly terms, production shrank 0.7% in February–much more than expected by analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal, who predicted a fall of 0.1%. Factory output declined by 0.1%, against analysts’ expectations of 0.3% growth.
  • Compared with the same month last year, industrial output was up 2.8%, missing market expectations of 3.3% growth. Annual growth in manufacturing also disappointed, with factory output growing by 3.3%, 0.5 points less than forecast.

Reuters: Weak French industrial output, trade, cloud outlook after firm PMIs

  • French industrial output dropped unexpectedly in February while the trade deficit was close to a record, data showed on Friday, tempering France’s economic outlook at the start of the year after surprisingly strong business confidence surveys.
  • With growth and jobs ranking as a top concern among voters in the imminent presidential election, the data are a fresh reminder of the challenges the next president will have reviving the economy.
  • The INSEE national statistics agency said output fell 1.6 percent from January, against expectations on average for an increase of 0.5 percent. Though energy was the main culprit for the drop, almost all the main sectors saw a decline in production apart from the food industry.

Market Watch: German industrial output surges, beating forecasts

  • German industrial production surged in February, beating forecasts, and its trade balance with the rest of the world was also higher than expected, indicating a pickup in economic growth in the first quarter.
  • Industrial output in Europe’s largest economy rose 2.2% from the month before, adjusted for seasonal swings and calendar effects, the economics ministry said Friday. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal forecast a 0.3% decline.
  • Construction output leapt 13.6% in February from the month before.
  • Compared with February 2016, industrial output increased 2.5%, taking account of calendar effects.

Reuters: Mexico inflation accelerates to highest in over 7 years

  • Annual inflation in Mexico accelerated in March to its highest level in more than seven and a half years amid a jump in the prices of some fruit and vegetables, and following a surge in gasoline costs at the start of 2017, data showed on Friday.
  • Consumer prices rose by 5.35 percent in the year through March, according to the national statistics agency. That inflation rate was just above the consensus forecast of 5.32 percent of analysts polled by Reuters.
  • Annual inflation was the highest since July 2009, and accelerated from 4.86 percent in February, the data showed.

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