Employment Confirms Fed Is Set for a Hike in March
- Nonfarm employment rose by 235,000 in February amid strength in the goods producing sector.
- The unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent while labor force participation climbed higher.
- Average hourly earnings rose 0.2 percent. While softer than expected, an upward revision to January lifted the year-over-year rate to 2.8 percent.
- The trade deficit widened to $48.5 billion in January as a $1.1 billion rise in exports was outmatched by a jump in imports.
Brazilian Economy Remains Depressed
- The Brazilian economy contracted for the second consecutive year in 2016. Although the downturn in the economy may come to an end this year, a return to the supercharged rates of growth that were the norm during the past decade do not look likely anytime soon.
Eurozone Economy Continues to Expand
- The economic expansion in the Eurozone is becoming more and more self-sustaining. Until the core rate of inflation starts to trend higher, however, the ECB likely will keep its foot firmly on the accelerator.