Plow Horse Gets De-Iced
Apr. 07, 2014 - First Trust -
For the last couple of months it’s been an open question whether US economic growth was slower because of brutal winter weather or if something more serious and worrisome was going on.
We have consistently sided with the “weather theory.” The winter of 2014 was one of the coldest and snowiest in the past 30 years, at least in the population centers in the East and Midwest. It was likely enough to slow real GDP growth from the 2.6% pace of the past year to under 1% annualized growth in the first quarter.
March Employment Report
Apr. 04, 2014 - First Trust - Implications
: The March employment report was more Plow Horse, with some signs of underlying improvement as weather-related problems eased. The unemployment rate held at 6.7% instead of ticking back down to 6.6%, as we expected, but the details of the report were much better than the headlines. Payrolls increased 192,000 in March, or a total of 229,000 after including upward revisions for prior months. Including revisions, private payrolls gained 239,000. What kept the unemployment rate from falling was a 503,000 gain in the labor force, which counteracted the robust 476,000 gain in civilian employment in March– an alternative measure of jobs that includes small business start-ups.