5/3: MetroIntelligence Economic Update – P.DUFFY

Private Sector Employment Up by 204,000 in April

ADP:  Private-sector employment increased by 204,000 from March to April, on a seasonally adjusted basis. This compares with 228,000 the month before and 155,000 the same month of 2017.

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March construction spending dipped 1.7 percent from February but still up 3.6 percent year-on-year

Construction spending during March 2018 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,284.7 billion, 1.7 percent below the revised February estimate but 3.6 percent above the March 2017 estimate. During the first three months of this year, construction spending was 5.5 percent above the same period in 2017.

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April manufacturing index fell 2.0 points to 57.3 due to high input prices, tariffs and tight labor market

The April PMI® registered 57.3 percent, a decrease of 2 percentage points from the March reading of 59.3 percent. Lead time extensions, steel and aluminum disruptions, supplier labor issues, and transportation difficulties continue. Demand remains robust, but the nation’s employment resources and supply chains continue to struggle.

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April online job vacancies declined 1.7 percent from March, up 2.9 percent year-on-year

Online advertised vacancies decreased 69,300 to 4,750,500 in April, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series. The March Supply/Demand rate stands at 1.37 unemployed for each advertised vacancy, with a total of 1.8 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies.

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Federal Reserve leaves interest rate unchanged in May meeting, suggests future increases will be slow

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) has opted to keep its benchmark federal funds interest rate in the range of 1.50 to 1.75 percent.  Although economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant further gradual increases in the federal funds rate, the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run.

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