10 April 2023
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Pace of growth in US payrolls falls in March

By Daniel Richards

The pace of growth in US payrolls fell for a 2nd consecutive month in March, adding to recent job opening and claims data showing that although the labour market remains tight, there appears to be some weakening at the margins. March payrolls rose by 236K on the month, fractionally higher than consensus expectations of a 230K gain and significantly below the February figure which was revised up to 326K. Average hourly earnings also rose at its slowest pace since mid-2021, recording growth of 4.2% y/y. The US unemployment rate fell back to 3.5% in March from 3.6% in February, as the household survey showed stronger employment growth of 577K and a rise in the labour force of 480K.  

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will this week be hosting their annual Spring meeting. Key sessions at the meeting will include the release of the IMF’s latest global growth projections on Tuesday, as well as the release of the latest global financial stability report.

Key data releases for this week include the release of US inflation and retail sales data. Headline US CPI is expected to drop to 5.1% y/y in March from 6% y/y in February.  

Today’s Economic Data and Events

  • 11:00 Turkey Current Account balance Feb. Forecast: -8.45bn

Fixed Income

  • US Treasury yields pushed higher in a short trading session, moving up on a slight outperformance on the March non-farm payrolls report. Yields on the 2yr UST settled up 15bps 3.9806% while the 10yr yield added about 9bps to 3.3906%. European bond markets did not trade.


  • Currency markets drifted lower at the end of the week in trade that was limited by public holidays in many markets. EURUSD closed Friday down 0.2% to 1.0905 while GBPUSD fell about the same amount to close out at 1.2418. USDJPY added 0.3% to 132.16.
  • Commodity currencies were more mixed with CAD weakening, USDCAD adding 0.1% to 1.3512 while NZUDUSD rose by 0.1% to 0.6248 and AUDUSD closed unchanged at 0.6672.


  • Most major global indices were closed on Friday, so equity markets have not yet reflected the outcome of the March NFP jobs print released at the end of the week. Over the four trading days to Thursday there were ups and downs in equity markets, in contrast to the previous week when the direction was mostly upwards, but the situation at the end of the week was that the bulk of the benchmark indices closed higher, with expectations of easing monetary policy helping gains.
  • In Europe, the FTSE 100 was the notable gainer as it closed up 1.6%, lagged by the CAC which added 0.9% and the DAX which closed up 0.5%. In the US, the NASDAQ, the S&P 500, and the Dow Jones added 0.6% w/w, 1.3% w/w, and 1.9% w/w respectively.
  • In Asia, the Hang Seng added 0.7% w/w and on the mainland the Shanghai Composite closed 1.9% w/w. There were losses in Japan, however, as an appreciating yen contributed to the Nikkei ending the week 1.9% lower.
  • In Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul gained 3.0% over the week, boosted by higher oil prices.


  • Oil markets were closed at the end of the week with both Brent and WTI futures benefitting from a pop on Monday and then trading sideways for much of the rest of the week as the impact of the surprise cuts from several OPEC+ members filter through markets. Brent closed the week up 6.8% at USD 85.12/b and WTI added 6.6% to USD 80.70/b.

Written By

Daniel Richards Senior Economist

Edward Bell Head of Market Economics

Jeanne Walters Senior Economist

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Daniel Richards

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