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Economic Review

US Review

  • Nonfarm payroll report of March posted 126,000 new jobs, marking the smallest monthly gain since December 2013. This huge disappointment reflected the weak economic recovery of US in Q1. 
  • CPI as well as Core CPI raised 0.2% in February, a moderate comeback from last month. However, even the Core CPI remained below 2% year over year, missing Fed’s target for a rate hike. 
  • ISM Manufacturing Index fell below expectation in March. Manufacturing payrolls and hours worked also declined.
  • The pull-back of durable goods orders also showed the slack in manufacturing, which declined 1.4% in February. More concerning was the slide in core capital goods orders, which posted a 1.4% decline for the month. In addition, core capital goods shipments rose just 0.2 percent. The soft durables report suggests manufacturing activity and business investment will be soft in the first quarter.


Global Review

  • Eurozone’s economy was improving as the German economy strengthened, with both ZEW and IFO indices rised. Real consumer spending in France was up 0.1% in February and 0.7% in January, and year-over-year data was up 3%. Other countries in the Eurozone were expected to follow the trend.
  • Brazil barely avoided recession in 2014 with a gain of 0.1%. With stranded oil and other commodity prices, 2015 was not expected to be better for Brazil.
  • In March, China’s exports plunged unexpectedly, casting shadow on yet announced Q1 GDP.
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