The NFIB small business optimism and JOLTS surveys provided further evidence of labour market tightness in the US. The NFIB index remained close to the recent 12 year high and came in higher than forecast at 104.5 in April. In particular, small businesses indicated intentions to boost capex and also to increase hiring. 33% of small businesses had difficulties filling vacancies in April; the highest level in almost 17 years.
Meanwhile, the JOLTS survey showed job openings unchanged at 5743 in March, but higher than had been forecast. Voluntary quits (people who voluntarily leave their jobs) also remained unchanged in March at 2.1%. Both surveys suggest that US wage growth is likely to accelerate and unemployment is likely to ease further in the coming months.
In Europe, German industrial production slowed marginally to 1.9% y/y in March from 2.0% y/y in April. The trade surplus also declined to EUR 19.6bn in March as import growth of 2.4% m/m exceeded export growth of 0.4% m/m. The main data releases today are French and Italian industrial production. ECB President Mario Draghi is also scheduled to speak in the Dutch parliament today about the impact of monetary policy in the Eurozone.
China’s producer price inflation moderated in April with PPI coming in lower than expected at 6.4% y/y (7.6% y/y in March), as commodity prices declined. Consumer inflation accelerated slightly to 1.2% y/y from 0.9% in March.