Important developments today:
1. U.S. employment gains the largest in 3 years
2. Hungary posts 12th monthly trade surplus
U.S. unemployment rate holds steady at high level. Payrolls increased by 162,000 in March, the largest increase in employment in three years according to today’s employment report from the Labor Department. As a result the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.7%, where it has been for all three months of 2010. The rebound in payrolls for March was expected after winter storms across the Northeast temporarily shut down businesses in February and escalated temporary layoffs for the month. In addition, the March increase in payrolls includes 48,000 temporary workers hired by the federal government to conduct the 2010 census. Despite these two factors, labor markets appear to have shifted gears this year into a mode of slower layoffs and net job gains, with payrolls increasing in 60% of total industries, the most widespread gain seen in the economy in four years. For a sustained improvement in labor market conditions, however, payrolls would have to increase in excess of 200,000 a month on average.
Source: Department of Labor
Among emerging markets:
In Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS, Hungary posted its 12th consecutive monthly trade surplus in January as exports to the Euro Zone continued to recover. Exports rose 14.6% (y/y), while imports were up just 2.7% (y/y) for a surplus of $394 million.