March 2018 Economic Recap
The White House announced 25% tariffs on a variety of Chinese imports. The tariffs cover some 1300 different products which amount to $50 billion in import value. The following day the Chinese government followed suit, announcing a countervailing $50 billion in tariffs on 106 different items (most notably soybeans and aircraft). The Chinese government called for a pause on further restrictions following the move, but it’s not certain that this will occur.
March’s employment report was disappointing on its face, as the economy added just 103,000 net payrolls for the month. However, this comes after February’s extraordinary gain of 326,000, and leaves the first quarter average at a robust 202,000 a month. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1%, but the underemployment rate fell back to a post-recession low of 8.0%. Surprisingly, wage-growth remains modest, just 2.7% year-over-year.
For a deeper consideration of the economic data released during March, please follow the links below: