On Friday, the US Labor Department released the official jobs numbers for the month of March. The numbers provided some relief to the market, which was worried about the weak jobs numbers in February. In March, the economy added more than 196K jobs, which was higher than the expected 176K. In February, the economy had added just 20K jobs. The unemployment rate remained at 3.8% while the participation rate declined slightly to 63%. The main concern among participants was the slowing wage growth. In the month, wages slowed down to an annualized rate of 3.2%. The U6 unemployment rate declined to 7.3%.
On Sunday, the Homeland Security secretary, Nielsen Kirstjen announced that she was resigning. This is as the US continues to experience increased border crossings. While most of the Mexican border crossing has reduced, that from Central America has continued to increase. The problem is that there are no tools in place to handle the ongoing migration. In fact, Donald Trump has considered closing the border, a move many experts believe would have serious repercussions on the US economy. In recent months, Democrats have opposed many measures to control the border.
The Brexit impasse continued over the weekend as the UK failed to pass a deal on how to deal with the European Union. Since the UK parliament has failed to pass any meaningful proposal on Brexit, it is now expected to leave the EU on Friday this week. However, Theresa May has asked for an additional extension from the European Union. Its leaders are hesitant that further delay may affect the bloc’s growth. In a statement, Emmanuel Macron said that he would be willing to give an extension if the UK agreed to a set of conditions. One condition is that the UK should not use its membership in the EU to disrupt the operations of the bloc.
Over the weekend, investors continued to focus on the new wave of global synchronized slowdown. Since autumn, sentiment and other data from the developed and emerging markets have been on a slowdown. In a statement, Christine Lagarde of the IMF, said that the organization might be forced to cut the forecast for the global growth later this week. This will be the third cut from the organization in the past few months. It also comes at a time when other organizations like OECD, Fed, and World Bank have slashed their guidance.
The decision by Donald Trump to appoint Herman Cain as a board member of the Fed continued to be debated in the United States. Cain is a former CEO of a pizza chain, a former board member of the Kansas Fed, and a current supporter of the president. Cain heads a political action committee, which has spent millions of dollars boosting Donald Trump. This comes after another Fed appointee, Stephen Moore has been criticized for his previous predictions. Traders fear that appointing loyalists to the Fed may lead to a loss of confidence in the Fed.