The UK economy scored a hat-trick of good news this week. The purchasing managers' indices (PMIs) for the key sectors all strengthened above forecasts in April. We had already seen this week that the manufacturing sector PMI had risen sharply to 57.3 from 54.2 previously and construction PMI to 53.1 from 52.2. The key question was how the dominant services sector performed amid the Brexit uncertainty and ahead of the general elections in June.
U.S. companies hired the fewest workers in six months in April as they faced increasing difficulty finding qualified workers in a tightening labor market, a report by a payrolls processor ADP showed on Wednesday.
A draft executive order to withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement is under consideration, a senior Trump administration official said on Wednesday, confirming an earlier report from Politico.
The unemployment rate declined to 4.5% in March, and total nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 98,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services and in mining, while retail trade lost jobs. Household Survey Data The unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 4.5% in March, and the number of unemployed persons declined by 326,000 to 7.2 million. Both measures were down over the year.