U.S. Unemployment Rates Rises, Expected To Go Higher
- The U.S. Department of Labor reported that the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent in March from a 50-year low of 3.5 percent in February, amounting to a loss of 701,000 jobs. But, according to The Associated Press, economists are expecting the April jobs report, set to be released in early May, to record as many as 20 million losses and an unemployment rate of approximately 15 percent. Meanwhile, during the week that ended April 3, a record 6.6 million Americans sought unemployment benefits, exceeding expectations and doubling the 3.3 million who sought benefits in mid-March amid the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Canadian economy expanded 0.1 percent from December 2019 to January 2020 and 1.8 percent from January 2019 to January 2020. Click here to read Statistics Canada’s report.
- The U.S. trade deficit totaled $39.9 billion in February, down from $45.5 billion in January. Exports were down just 0.4 percent at $207.5 billion, but imports shrank 2.5 percent to $247.5 billion. Analysts expect the trade deficit to continue to decline. Chinese exports to the United States fell to $22.8 billion in February 2020 from $33.2 billion in February 2019, a drop of 31.3 percent, the largest fall since the Census’ earliest reported data in the 1990s.
- According to Statistics Canada, Canada’s merchandise trade deficit narrowed to $983 million in February from $1.7 billion in January due to a 6.8 percent decline in trade with China. Yahoo Finance reports exports rose 0.5 percent to $48.3 billion in February as eight of the 11 sectors moved higher, while in volume terms, exports increased 2.7 percent. Exports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts increased 18.5 percent due to 46.8 percent increase in aircraft exports. Excluding aircraft, total exports fell 0.3 percent.