U.S. Economic Indicators

Initial jobless claims were 230,000, unchanged from last week. The four-week moving average rose 6,500 to 212,500. DOL Report

New factory orders for manufactured goods increased 1.9% in March following a 0.3% (revised) decline in February, and are up 1.7% compared to last year. New orders excluding transportation rose 0.8% while new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft rose 1.4%. Census Bureau Report

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 3.6% in Q1 and is up 2.4% from Q1 of last year. Hours worked increased 0.5% in Q1 and unit labor costs fell 0.9%. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that Federal Reserve officials voted Wednesday to leave interest rates unchanged, reaffirming their commitment to a wait-and-see approach. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell downplayed concerns that persistently low inflation may reflect underlying economic weakness, suggesting instead that recent price decreases could prove transitory. WSJ