5/3: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Construction spending dipped 0.9 percent in March and 0.8 percent year-on-year

Construction spending during March 2019 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,282.2 billion, 0.9 percent below the revised February estimate and down 0.8 percent year-on-year. Larger declines were noted for residential construction, which was lower by 1.8% for the month, and 8.4% for the year.



April planned job cuts fall 34 percent to lowest level since last August

U.S.-based employers announced plans to cut 40,023 jobs from their payrolls in April, down 34% from March but up 11% year-on-year.  Still, this is the lowest monthly total since last August.  So far this year, employers have announced 230,433 job cuts, 31% higher those announced in the first four months of last year.



Federal Reserve keeps interest rates unchanged at latest meeting, inflation still under target

The Federal Reserve announced that it is keeping its target range of 2.25% to 2.5% unchanged, noting that inflation is still its stated target of 2%.  The Fed’s decision not to change rates continued with the March meeting’s economic projections signaling no rate changes for the rest of 2019.