U.K. Services Growth Hits Seven-Month High as Economy Picks Up

Posted by Forexsq 113 days ago (http://www.bloomberg.com)
img U.K. services growth accelerated to a seven-month high in March as the broader economy gained momentum in the first three months of 2015.

Markit Economics said Tuesday its Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 58.9 from 56.7 in February. Economists had forecast 57, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The report, taken together with data last week on manufacturing and construction, suggests the economy will grow 0.7 percent this quarter after a 0.6 percent increase at the end of 2014, Markit said. Britain’s political parties are battling over claims to economic competency with less than five weeks to go before the general election.

“The U.K. economy moved up a gear in March,” Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said in a statement. “Faster growth of new business and improved expectations of prospects for the year ahead also bode well for the upturn to retain strong momentum as we move through the spring.”

Retail Sales Little Changed as Americans Reluctant to Splurge

Posted by Forexsq 76 days ago (http://www.bloomberg.com)
img Sales at U.S. retailers were little changed in April, starting the second quarter on a weak note as Americans remained reluctant to splurge.

The reading followed a revised 1.1 percent gain in March that was the biggest in a year and larger than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed Wednesday in Washington. The median forecast of 88 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.2 percent gain in April.

Consumers have been using the windfall from cheap gasoline to boost savings as wages have been slow to pick up, which may temper the projected rebound in U.S. growth this quarter. At the same time, steady hiring and low borrowing costs will help underpin household spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.

“Consumers are still spending quite selectively,” Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial Corp., said before the report. “It definitely gets the quarter off on the wrong foot as far as the rebound goes. Wages are stuck in a t

U.S. Index Futures Fall as Consumer Prices Show Inflation Pickup

Posted by Forexsq 67 days ago (http://www.bloomberg.com)
img U.S. stock-index futures fell, after data showing the fastest rise in consumer prices in two years bolstered speculation the Federal Reserve will be forced to raise interest rates soon.

E-mini futures on the S&P 500 expiring in June slipped 0.2 to 2,124.25 at 9:06 a.m. in New York, after the underlying index Thursday reached its fourth all-time high in six sessions. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 23 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,235. Markets are closed Monday for the holiday.

“Any time you do get a little bit stronger data, people kind of flinch,” said Matt Maley, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co. in Newton, Massachusetts. “Their first reaction is that the Fed is getting what it wants to raise rates. The stock market is at new highs and a little overbought on a near-term basis, and people are taking some chips off the table ahead of the long weekend.”

A report Friday showed the cost of living excluding food and fuel rose at a faster pace than

U.S. private sector adds 237,000 jobs in June: ADP

Posted by Forexsq 27 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img U.S. private employers added 237,000 jobs in June, the biggest gain since December, suggesting further improvement in the jobs market which may allow the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this year, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP NationalEmployment Report would show a gain of 218,000 jobs.

May private payroll gains were revised up to 203,000 from an originally reported 201,000 increase, which was the smallest rise since January 2014.

The report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics.

The ADP figures come ahead of the U.S. Labor Department's more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Thursday, which includes both public and private-sector employment.

Economists polled by Reuters are looking for total U.S. employment to have grown by 230,000 jobs in June, down from May's 280,000 increase. The unemployment rate was forecast to slip to a seven-year low of 5.4 percent from 5.5 per

Jobs Report Disappoints, Participation Rate Falls to Lowest Since 1977

Posted by Forexsq 26 days ago (http://www.bloomberg.com)
img Households are feeling upbeat about employment prospects as more respondents than at any time since early 2008 said jobs were plentiful, a Conference Board report showed on Tuesday.

A separate report Friday from the Labor Department showed applications for unemployment benefits held below 300,000 for a 17th straight week. Jobless claims rose by 10,000 to 281,000 in the week ended June 27. The median forecast called for 270,000 applications.

The figures indicate corporate managers are keeping headcounts in line with stronger consumer demand while overseas markets remain feeble. At the same time, more moderate job gains may still be enough to reduce the unemployment rate, consistent with the Federal Reserve’s perceived timetable to raise borrowing costs by year-end.

“This is a softer report than people expected but it’s certainly not a game changer,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, who projected a 225,000 gain.

New credit crisis warning

Posted by Forexsq 114 days ago (http://www.telegraph.co.uk)
img THE UK is likely to achieve little growth over the coming years and is now facing another financial crisis, potentially on a much bigger and worse scale than in 2008, says John Mills, Labour’s biggest private donor, in a forthcoming pamphlet.

Pointing to “dismally low levels of investment” and an “exceptionally large balance of payments and government deficits”, he argues that Britain “may be getting closer than is often realised to a number of critical tipping points which, if they materialise, could reinforce each other to produce a much more vicious downward spiral”.

Having previously argued that Labour risks losing the general election if it does not offer a referendum on Britain’s EU membership, Mr Mills rails against the single currency in a pamphlet to be published by the think tank Civitas later this month.

“There are very substantial obstacles to be overcome if the eurozone is to remain intact,” he says. “It is far from clear the euro will survive substantially in it

Greece says ready to make IMF payment on April 9

Posted by Forexsq 116 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img Greece will pay a loan tranche due on April 9 to the International Monetary Fund on time, its deputy finance minister said on Friday, seeking to quell fears of default after a flurry of contradictory statements on the issue in recent days.

Greece is fast running out of cash and its euro zone and International Monetary Fund lenders have frozen bailout aid until the new leftist-led government reaches agreement on a package of reforms.

That prompted the interior minister to suggest this week that Athens would prioritize wages and pensions over the roughly 450 million euro ($489 million) payment to the IMF, though the government denied that was its stance.

Euro zone officials then said Greece told them it will run out of money on April 9, which the finance ministry denied saying.

"We strive to be able to pay our obligations on time, Dimitris Mardas told Greece's Skai TV. "We are ready to pay on April 9."

Adding to the confusion, German magazine Der Spiegel quoted a finance

US added 126K jobs in March, jobless rate stays at 5.5%

Posted by Forexsq 116 days ago (http://www.cnbc.com)
img The sputtering U.S. economy created just 126,000 jobs in March as bad weather, weak consumer spending and flailing corporate profits resulted in the worst report since December 2013.

Economists expected nonfarm payrolls to rise 245,000 in March, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 5.5 percent, according to Reuters. February's numbers were revised lower to 264,000 from the initially reported 295,000, while January's number fell from 239,000 to 201,000.

The total fell well short of the 269,000 average over the past year and was the first time in 14 months that the number dropped below 200,000.

However, the overall unemployment rate held steady at 5.5 percent, as a generational low in labor force participation helps keep the figure low. A separate gauge that includes those who have stopped looking for work as well those employed part-time for economic reasons—the underemployed—edged lower from 11 percent to 10.9 percent.

The jobs numbers come as both the economy and

NonFarm payrolls 126k in March vs expected 256k

Posted by Forexsq 116 days ago (http://www.topforexbrokers.com)
img nfp jobs reportU.S. employers added the fewest number of jobs in more than a year in March, which could heighten concerns over the recent slowdown in economic growth and delay an anticipated interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve.

Nonfarm payrolls rose 126,000 last month, the smallest gain since December 2013, the Labor Department said on Friday. The goods producing sector, which had been hurt by a strong dollar and lower crude oil prices, shed 13,000 jobs in March - the largest drop since July 2013.

The unemployment rate held at a more than 6-1/2-year low of 5.5 percent because people dropped out of the labor force.

"There's no question that the economy is showing the negative effects of the stronger dollar and the collapse in oil prices. Corporate profits have come under pressure, and hiring has been adjusted in response," said Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast p

US job growth weakest since 2013; unemployment rate steady

Posted by Forexsq 116 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img U.S. employers added the fewest jobs in more than a year in March amid signs the economy was starting to take strain from a strong dollar and lower oil prices, which could delay an anticipated interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 126,000 last month, the smallest gain since December 2013, the Labor Department said on Friday.

The goods producing sector, which had been hurt by a strong dollar, shed 13,000 jobs last month, the largest drop since July 2013.

March's tepid increase in payrolls ended 12 straight months of job gains above 200,000, which had been the longest streak since 1994. In addition, data for January and February was revised to show 69,000 fewer jobs created than previously reported, giving the report an even weaker tone.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls increasing 245,000 last month. The small job gains could fan fears that the recent weakness in economic activity could be more fundamental rather than t

Payrolls in U.S. Rose 126,000 in March, Least Since End of 2013

Posted by Forexsq 116 days ago (http://www.bloomberg.com)
img Employers in March added the fewest workers since December 2013 and the jobless rate held at 5.5 percent as companies sought to bring U.S. headcounts in line with an economy that throttled back at the start of the year.

The 126,000 increase was weaker than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey and followed a 264,000 gain a month earlier that was smaller than initially reported, the Labor Department in Washington said. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 245,000 advance. Average hourly earnings rose 2.1 percent from a year earlier.

Companies tempered the pace of the hiring as rough winter weather, tepid overseas markets and a slowdown in energy-related capital investment combined to sting the economy. Even with the moderation in March payrolls, persistent employment opportunities are keeping Americans upbeat and laying the ground for a rebound in spending.

“November to February payrolls were white-hot numbers so we may see a much

Why even a soft jobs report wouldn’t really matter

Posted by Forexsq 117 days ago (http://www.marketwatch.com)
img A stampede of evidence pointing to slower economic growth hints that the rapid pace of U.S. job creation may have tapered off. But don’t expect Wall Street to do much more than yawn if the results of the latest monthly employment report disappoint.

In March, the U.S. likely added about 243,000 jobs, down from a sizzling 295,000 pace in the prior month. The unemployment rate is seen holding steady at 5.5%, predict economists surveyed by Fxstay.

While a drop-off is expected when the government releases the numbers Friday morning, hardly anyone seems worried. The simple truth is most big investors and leading economists don’t think U.S. growth has really slowed and that any weakness is sure to prove short-lived.

Here are four reasons why the jobs report for March, on a day when markets are closed because of Good Friday, is unlikely to change anyone’s mind.
Labor market bellwethers healthy

If companies have pulled the plug on hiring, there’s little evidence to show for it. Th

Greek defiance mounts as Alexis Tsipras turns to Russia and China

Posted by Forexsq 117 days ago (http://www.telegraph.co.uk)
img Two months of EU bluster and reproof have failed to cow Greece. It is becoming clear that Europe’s creditor powers have misjudged the nature of the Greek crisis and can no longer avoid facing the Morton’s Fork in front of them.

Any deal that goes far enough to assuage Greece’s justly-aggrieved people must automatically blow apart the austerity settlement already fraying in the rest of southern Europe. The necessary concessions would embolden populist defiance in Spain, Portugal and Italy, and bring German euroscepticism to the boil.

Emotional consent for monetary union is ebbing dangerously in Bavaria and most of eastern Germany, even if formulaic surveys do not fully catch the strength of the undercurrents.

This week's resignation of Bavarian MP Peter Gauweiler over Greece’s bail-out extension can, of course, be over-played. He has long been a foe of EMU. But his protest is unquestionably a warning shot for Angela Merkel's political family.

Mr Gauweiler was made vice-cha

U.S. jobless claims fall; continuing claims lowest since 2000

Posted by Forexsq 117 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting the labor market continues to expand at a solid clip even as economic growth has stalled.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 268,000 for the week ended March 28, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Claims for the prior week were revised to show 6,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 285,000 last week.

A Labor Department analyst said there was nothing unusual in the state-level data. The department made revisions to the model it uses to adjust the claims data for seasonal fluctuations, which resulted in revisions to prior figures.

The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 14,750 to 285,500 last week.

The bullish claims report, which has

U.S. private payrolls, factory data point to weak first quarter growth

Posted by Forexsq 118 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img U.S. private employers added the smallest number of workers in more than a year in March and factory activity hit a near two-year low, fresh signs that economic growth slowed significantly in the first quarter.

The economy has been slammed by a harsh winter, a strong dollar and weaker global demand. While the effects of bad weather should start to fade, dollar strength could remain a constraint and limit a rebound in output.

Soft growth may prompt the Federal Reserve to delay an anticipated interest rate increase until September. The U.S. central bank has not raised its key lending rate since 2006.

"The economy hit yet another rough spot in the first quarter ... which is one of many factors that will make it difficult for the Fed to achieve 'lift-off' by mid-year," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago.

Private payrolls increased by 189,000 last month, the smallest gain since January 2014, the ADP National Employment Report showed on Wednesday.

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