U.S. Economic News

April 1, 2020

U.S. Economic Indicators

The ADP Employment Report shows that private-sector employment decreased by 27,000 jobs in March, contracting far less than expected; however, the report only uses data through March 12 and does not reflect the impact of COVID-19 for the full month. The service sector lost 18,000 jobs, while the goods-producing sector lost 9,000 jobs. ADP Report

The ISM Manufacturing Index fell 1.0 point to 49.1 in March, falling below 50 and into contractionary territory. The Employment Index fell 3.1 points to 43.8, while the New Orders Index fell 7.6 points to 42.2. ISM Report

Construction spending declined 1.3% in February to an annualized rate of $1.37 trillion. Private construction fell 1.2% and public construction fell 1.5%. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that the $350 billion in government-guaranteed small business loans under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program will provide business owners with loans at just 0.5% interest that will be forgiven if funds are spent on rent, payroll, or utilities and payrolls are maintained for at least 2 months. Although the SBA will not have to directly approve the loans, which businesses can access through their usual lenders,  concerns remain that loan officers will be unable to quickly process all of the applications given the overwhelming demand. WSJ