U.S. Outlook: China trade war trumps a disappointing jobs report

Scott Anderson
Posted by Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

Investors just received two pieces of news that challenge the sanguine views of the U.S. economy and the economic outlook.

Graph showing hourly earnings growth in March jobs report, by sector.President Trump decided to double-down on his budding trade war with China, and the March employment report came in well below consensus expectations at 103K new jobs.

For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on April 6.

Key observations:

  • Investors need to pay close attention to the evolving tit-for-tat tariff retaliation between the world’s biggest economies to divine the ultimate direction of the markets.
  • Neither world power will want to be seen as backing down to the other, which is why we expect some tariffs will indeed be imposed.
  • The bright spot in the March jobs report was the pickup in average hourly earnings growth.
  • Stronger average hourly earnings growth in Q1 suggests a consumer spending rebound this quarter is still far more likely than not.

 

Read my full report.

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