Amid all the bond (and now equity) market excitement, it’s worth noting some economic news from home that’s not so bad and some news from abroad that’s positively good. Not so bad is today’s Live Register release which shows the standardised unemployment rate steady at 13.4% (though this is subject to all the usual caveats about whether this claims based measure is accurately capturing the underlying trends in joblessness) while the retail sales figures show some sign of stabilisation.
From abroad, the non-farm payrolls figures in the US showed 290,000 jobs added in April. While the unemployment rate from the household survey increased to 9.9%, this is partly due to a reversal of the decline in labour force participation. Payroll growth at this pace, if sustained, would start to reduce the unemployment rate.