The U.S. added 103,000 jobs in March, while the unemployment rate was at 4.1%. This marks the 90th consecutive month of job growth – the longest streak on record.
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates on March 21 by a quarter of a percentage point and signaled that the central bank is on track to raise rates twice more in 2018. The Fed said it would raise its benchmark interest rate to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%, marking the sixth time since the financial crisis that rates have risen.
February’s Architecture Billings Index registered at 52, down 2.7 points from January. However, it still reflects an increase in design services as any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings.
The March Purchasing Managers Index registered at 59.3%, down 1.5 percentage points from the February reading of 60.8%. The New Orders Index registered 61.9%, a decrease of 2.3 percentage points from the previous month. The Production Index registered at 61%, down 1 percentage point from February.
The U.S. will grant the European Union, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, and South Korea a temporary exemption from aluminum and steel tariffs, averting a trade war with key allies as the Trump administration tailors penalties to target China. President Trump has already granted exemptions to Mexico and Canada.
For more information and to continue reading, view the April 2018 ONI Insight Guide below or contact your local sales rep.ONI Insight April 2018