AP NEWS

This Week: Construction spending, trade deficit, hiring

June 3, 2019

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:

JUST A BLIP?

Economists project that U.S. construction spending rebounded in April after declining a month earlier.

Spending on housing, nonresidential and government building projects dropped 0.9% in March, the first decline in four months. Spending on home construction also fell to the lowest level in more than two years. The Commerce Department issues its April snapshot of construction spending Monday.

Construction spending, monthly percent change, seasonally adjusted:

Nov. -1.4

Dec. 0.2

Jan. 0.7

Feb. 0.7

March -0.9

April (est.) 0.4

Source: FactSet

EYES ON TRADE

The Commerce Department reports its monthly gauge of the nation’s trade deficit Thursday.

The U.S. trade deficit, the gap between what America exports and what it buys from abroad, rose slightly in March to $50 billion, even though the deficit with China fell to the lowest point in five years. Washington and Beijing have been locked in an escalating trade war for the past year.

Trade balance, monthly, billions of dollars, seasonally adjusted:

Nov. -50.5

Dec. -59.9

Jan. -51.3

Feb. -49.3

March -50.0

April (est.) -50.2

Source: FactSet

IN A HIRING MOOD

Hiring has been robust this year, sending the U.S. unemployment rate to a five-decade low of 3.6%.

Nonfarm employers added 263,000 jobs in April, up from 189,000 the previous month. Economists expect that the pace of hiring slowed in May as employers added 187,500 jobs. The Labor Department reports its May tally of hiring Friday.

Nonfarm payrolls, monthly change, seasonally adjusted:

Dec. 227,000

Jan. 312,000

Feb. 56,000

March 189,000

April 263,000

May (est.) 187,500

Source: FactSet

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