US economy is unwell, April could be a horror

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After months of a remarkably strong US labor market and economy, everything seems to be slowing down.

The latest high-frequency data shows that the consumer could be running out of steam, hiring activity is moderating, business activity is softening, interest-rate sensitive sectors are pulling back and housing is suffering.

The question is whether Friday’s monthly jobs report, easily the most anticipated piece of data out this week, will confirm the trend.

The unflinching resilience of the US labor market is one of the greatest sources of tension in today’s economy. Federal Reserve officials have said employment numbers and the pace of wage increases need to shift lower before “sticky” inflation can be overcome.

Over the past year, the Fed has raised interest rates from nearly zero to a range of 4.75% to 5% to cool the economy. But jobs numbers have blown past expectations for the past 11 months. Unemployment currently sits near historic lows at 3.6%.

A slowdown in the official US jobs report Friday could signal an economic sea change.


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!