ADP Says Companies in U.S. Added 263,000 Employees in March
Companies added workers to U.S. payrolls in March at the fastest pace since December 2014 on solid gains in construction and manufacturing and at small businesses, data from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey, showed Wednesday.
· Private payrolls climbed by 263,000 (forecast was 185,000) after a 245,000 gain in February that was revised lower from initial reading of 298,000
· Goods-producing industries, which include manufacturers and builders, increased headcounts by 82,000 after a 100,000 gain, the strongest two months in data going back to 2002
· Service providers boosted payrolls by 181,000 after a 145,000 increase
Euro zone business activity at six-year high in broad recovery
Euro zone businesses enjoyed their best quarter in six years at the start of 2017 and although growth was not quite as fast as a flash estimate, the upturn was broad-based, a survey suggested on Wednesday. Soaring demand allowed firms to raise prices at the fastest rate since mid-2011 and survey compiler HIS Markit said the data pointed to first-quarter economic growth of 0.6 percent, faster than the 0.5 percent predicted in a Reuters poll last month. The final Markit Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index, regarded as a good guide to growth, rose to a near-six year high of 56.4 in March from February’s 56.0. The flash reading, at 56.7, had suggested a sharper rise. "This is quite a positive start to the year and pointing to accelerated growth in the region as a whole," said Oliver Kolodseike at CEBR. Earlier surveys from Germany and France, the bloc’s two biggest economies, showed growth accelerated last month and while the rates of expansion slowed in Italy and Spain they remained robust.
Chinese Stocks Are Becoming a World-Beating Dividend Play
To get in on the hottest equity trade in China right now, you’ll have to be quick. Dividends are emerging as a key lure for investors in the world’s second-largest share market, with stocks of companies that consistently hand out the most cash outperforming the Shanghai Composite Index by the most since 2013. The catch? These plays are few and far between with China renowned as one of the stingiest markets globally when it comes to shareholder payouts. “What we’re finding fascinating is the whole yield story in China — you’d never think investors would look at China” for dividends, Catherine Yeung, an investment director at Fidelity International, which manages about $290 billion, said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “This trend is likely to continue and it’s going to bode well for these companies from a foreign investment perspective.”