The American economy is on a roll, adding 916,000 jobs in March and driving the unemployment rate down to 6 per cent. Jobs estimates for January and February were revised upward by 156,000.
The manufacturing sector is growing rapidly as new orders flow in: it added 53,000 jobs in March. The housing market is red hot, with a shortage of houses for sale pushing up prices at the fastest pace in 15 years; the construction sector took on 110,000 workers in March. Airlines are increasing flight schedules as planes fly with all middle seats occupied; the leisure and hospitality industries added 280,000 workers.
More good news is in store. Forecasters are racing to up their forecasts – from 4% to 6% to 7%, with whispers of 8% being heard in the corridors of investment houses.
Consumer confidence in March recorded its sharpest one-month gain in nearly 18 years, which has retailers predicting a sales jump of as much as 8.2 per cent. With consumers sitting on $2.8 trillion more in savings than they had before the virus arrived – that’s 13 per cent of GDP – they are poised to party as the vaccine is rolled out and restrictions on their movements are rolled back. About 35% of Americans plan to spend more on travel in the next twelve months than they did a typical year according to a survey conducted for The New York Times by online search firm SurveyMonkey. “We are in an acceleration phase,” says Goldman Sachs’ Jan Hatzius.
Read the full article in The Times