Hiring in the Manufacturing Sector Decreases Again in April
For the second straight month, hiring in the manufacturing sector was negative, according to the ADP. This decrease of 10,000 workers in April makes employment growth essentially flat since the start of the year. In the larger economy, nonfarm private businesses added 169,000 employees on net in April, with small and medium-sized businesses (those with less than 500 employees) contributing all but 5,000 of the increase in nonfarm private business employment gains. To learn more, visit here.
U.S. Trade Deficit Widens to Highest in Nearly Seven Years
The United States trade deficit widened substantially in March, up from $35.89 billion in February to $51.37 billion, according to the Census Bureau. March experienced the largest monthly trade deficit since October 2008, with goods imports soaring and goods exports not rising enough to counteract the gain in imports. Sluggish growth overseas, a stronger U.S. dollar and lower crude oil prices all contributed to the large shift in the trade deficit number. To learn more, visit here.
First Quarter Real GDP Growth Just Shy of Zero
The U.S. economy stagnated in the first quarter of 2015, with real GDP growing just 0.2 percent. Net exports and government spending, in addition to headwinds from a stronger dollar, contributed to that data point hovering near zero. Other examples of this softness were reflected in the manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) that remained unchanged in April and a negative employment shift for the first time in nearly two years. If there is a silver lining, it is the belief in financial markets that slower growth will postpone the Federal Reserve’s push for higher interest rates. To learn more, visit here.
TSCA Reform Opportunity May Present Itself This Summer
The opportunity to pass bipartisan legislation may be on the table this summer as legislators consider whether to improve an outdated environmental statue. TSCA Reform proposals before both the Senate and the House will modernize the federal chemical regulatory system while both fostering manufacturing innovation and ensuring the public and environment are protected. To learn more, visit here.