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