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Friday, April 04, 2008

News You Can Use for Friday

U.S. Loses 80,000 Jobs, More Than Estimated; Jobless Rate Climbs to 5.1% Employers in the U.S. cut the most workers in five years last month, signaling that the economic contraction is deepening and that the Federal Reserve will continue to lower interest rates

XX The headline doesn't capture just how ugly this report was. This was the third month in a row of declining Non-Farm Payrolls, and the worst payroll number since March 2003. Over the past 3 months, payroll employment has declined by 232,000. In March, employment continued to fall in construction, manufacturing, and employment services.
Interestingly, health care, food services and mining added jobs.

What's more, job creation for the last expansion was the weakest of any recovery since WWII.

In other news ...

World Bank Says Rising Global Food Prices Are `Critical,' Set to Persist A global rise in food costs will take time to resolve as agricultural countries increase cultivation and new technologies are implemented to improve yields, World Bank Managing Director Juan Jose Daboub said.

Thailand Pledges Rice Exports After Shortage Sends World Prices to Records Thailand, the world's biggest rice exporter, pledged to maintain supplies and India vowed to crack down on hoarding as shortages drove prices to a record and threatened to trigger protests in Asia and Africa.

Global Writedowns May Reach $400 Billion This Year, Lehman Brothers Says Writedowns among the world's financial institutions won't match ``Himalaya-like guestimates'' and will slow in the second and third quarters of this year, according to Lehman Brothers.

India's Inflation Reaches Three-Year High, May Spur Higher Interest Rates India's inflation accelerated to the fastest pace in more than three years, underscoring a threat from rising food prices that prompted the government to announce a crackdown on hoarding.

Lenders Overwhelmed by Foreclosures Let Delinquent Borrowers Stay in Homes Banks are so overwhelmed by the U.S. housing crisis they've started to look the other way when homeowners stop paying their mortgages.

Stocks in Canada Advance to Five-Week High, Led by Potash, Suncor Energy Canadian stocks rose to a five-week high, led by Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., after rival fertilizer maker Mosaic Co. said profit soared more than 12-fold because of increasing demand for crop nutrients.
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