Economy creates only 119,000 positions in April
ADP reports that private companies created only 119,000 jobs in April, well below expectations and confirmation that the labor market is slowing. According to CNBC, economists expected the report to show the private sector created 150,000 down from the 158,000 jobs created in March. Small businesses accounted for 50,000 of the new positions, however, a slowdown is expected in that sector due to the implementation Obamacare. Small businesses will want to keep their work forces below 50 employees.
Factory activity at weakest level in six months
Reuters is reporting that manufacturing growth in the US pulled back to its lowest level in six months with the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index or PMI slipping to 52.1 in April down from 54.6 in March. A reading above 50 indicates an economy is expanding while a reading below 50 indicates contraction. A slow down in orders in April is responsible for the drop.
Housing Market Improving
Home prices are rising at the fastest rate in seven years, with some communities seeing double digit gains, according to the Wall Street Journal. Prices increased 9.3 percent from a year earlier while mortgage rates remain at record lows. Nationally, the median home price is $184,300 well below the record of $230,400 in March of 2006. Home price gains are likely to continue. Sales of previously owned homes increased by 10.3 percent from a year ago.
China’s Manufacturing dips
China’s official PMI dipped to 50.6 down from 50.9 in March, according to CNBC. As mentioned above, a reading above 50 indicates an economy is expanding while a reading below 50 means an economy is contracting. Analysts indicate that the real story is the substantial fall in new factory orders, caused by the downturn in Europe. New orders are also low. Economists believe that the Chinese government may choose to implement stimulus measures.
World’s Happiest Consumers
According to a survey published on Wednesday by Nielsen, Indonesia’s consumers are the most optimistic in the world. Indonesia is followed by India, the Philippines, and Thailand. According to CNBC, Asia-Pacific countries represent seven of the ten most confident countries globally.
Apple and the world’s largest corporate debt sale
Apple sold bonds worth $17 billion on Tuesday, the world’s larges corporate debt sale. According to the Financial Times, Apple was raising capital to finance a $100 billion cash return to shareholders. Demand for the bonds reached $52 billion as investors from around the world sought a piece of Apple’s first debt offering since 1996. While Apple has $145 billion of cash on its balance sheet, only $45 billion is held in the US and repatriating cash reserves would have serious tax implications
Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner. McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner. Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors. She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.
McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth. Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.
McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)
Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.