Treasury International Capital Data for March

Washington – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today released Treasury International Capital (TIC) data for March 2019. The next release, which will report on data for April 2019, is scheduled for June 17, 2019.

The sum total in March of all net foreign acquisitions of long-term securities, short-term U.S. securities, and banking flows was a net TIC outflow of $8.1 billion. Of this, net foreign private inflows were $13.6 billion, and net foreign official outflows were $21.7 billion.

Foreign residents decreased their holdings of long-term U.S. securities in March; net sales were $30.3 billion. Net sales by private foreign investors were $20.6 billion, while net sales by foreign official institutions were $9.7 billion.

U.S. residents decreased their holdings of long-term foreign securities, with net sales of $1.9 billion.

Taking into account transactions in both foreign and U.S. securities, net foreign sales of long-term securities were $28.4 billion. After including adjustments, such as estimates of unrecorded principal payments to foreigners on U.S. asset-backed securities, overall net foreign sales of long-term securities are estimated to have been $40.6 billion in March.

Foreign residents increased their holdings of U.S. Treasury bills by $23.9 billion. Foreign resident holdings of all dollar-denominated short-term U.S. securities and other custody liabilities increased by $69.7 billion.

Banks’ own net dollar-denominated liabilities to foreign residents decreased by $37.2 billion.

2019 Global Entrepreneurship Summits

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) is the preeminent annual gathering that convenes entrepreneurs, investors, and their supporters globally. An estimated 20,000 emerging leaders have participated in Global Entrepreneurship Summits since 2010. At previous GES summits, governments and the private sector have committed to provide over $1 billion in new capital to entrepreneurs worldwide.

On November 15, 2018, the U.S. and the Netherlands officially launched the upcoming 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which is scheduled to be held in The Hague, Netherlands on June 4-5, 2019. As previously announced by President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Mark Rutte in July, the ninth annual GES will underscore the commitment by both countries to entrepreneurship and innovation. The launch kick-starts the “Road to GES” events, taking place in both the Netherlands and the United States.

The 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Summit will invite the world’s most inspiring entrepreneurs innovating in Agri/Food, Connectivity, Energy, Health, and Water five key investment areas.

Job creation smashes expectations, unemployment rate falls to 49-year low

The United States economy continued to thrive in April, with the unemployment rate dropping to 3.6 percent—the lowest unemployment rate since December 1969, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) household survey. April also marks the 14th consecutive month of the unemployment rate being at or below 4 percent.

The rapidly growing economy continues to benefit a wide range of demographic groups. The unemployment rate for adult women (20+) reached 3.1 percent in April, its lowest rate since 1953. The unemployment rate for Hispanics fell to 4.2 percent—the lowest rate since the series began in 1973. The unemployment rate for individuals with only a high school degree fell to 3.5 percent—matching the lowest rate since 2000. The unemployment rate for those with a disability fell to 6.3 percent in April—the lowest rate since the series began in 2008. Additionally, the unemployment rate for veterans fell to 2.3 percent—the lowest rate since the series began in 2000.

The U-6 unemployment rate, a broader measure of unemployment that includes those who are unemployed, marginally attached to the labor force, and working part-time for economic reasons, remained at 7.3 percent in April, matching the lowest U-6 rate since December 2000.

A separate survey from BLS, the Employment Situation Report, showed total nonfarm payroll employment in April rose by 263,000 jobs, far surpassing market expectations (190,000). In total, the economy has added over 5.8 million jobs since President Donald J. Trump was elected. The month of April continued the longest streak of growth on record.

Employment gains have exceeded 100,000 jobs in 27 of the 29 months since the 2016 election. Including revisions for the months of February and March, the average pace of job growth has been a healthy 218,000 jobs per month over the past year and 205,000 jobs per month so far in 2019. Job gains were predominantly concentrated in professional and business services (76,000 new jobs), education and health services (62,000 new jobs), and leisure and hospitality (34,000 new jobs). The construction sector added 33,000 new jobs in April, and has added 669,000 jobs since the 2016 election.

On top of the good news about job growth, the report indicates that wages are rising, too. Nominal average hourly earnings in April rose by 3.2 percent over the past 12 months, marking the 9th straight month that year-over-year wage gains were at or above 3 percent. Prior to 2018, nominal average hourly wage gains had not reached 3 percent since April 2009. Taking inflation into account, there is more evidence that real wages are also growing. Based on the most recent Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index data from March, inflation in the past year was 1.5 percent, and, based on the most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) price data from March, inflation in the past year was 1.9 percent. This offers evidence that real wages are rising, and people are able to purchase more goods and services with their larger paychecks.

These most recent BLS surveys depict a strong American economy. Employment growth in April surpassed expectations with 263,000 new jobs, while the unemployment rate of 3.6 percent is the lowest rate in nearly half a century. With continued positive job growth, sustained low unemployment, and rising real wages, the economy continues to thrive.

U.S. Economy Grows 3.2 Percent in First Quarter

WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the first quarter 2019 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers. The Bureau found that the real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019.

“This blockbuster GDP report shows that President Donald J. Trump’s policies are unleashing the vitality of the American economy, fulfilling the President’s promise for 3 percent economic growth and benefiting American workers in the form of better jobs and higher wages,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The Trump economy has repeatedly defied the skeptics who predicted an economic downturn and has restored America’s position in the world as a consistent source of economic growth.”

The U.S. economy has gotten off to a strong start so far in 2019. In January and February of 2019, the two months for which data is available, the U.S. trade deficit dropped well below expectations. This trend continued as exports alone drove nearly half a percentage point of overall GDP growth in the first quarter.

After starting off the year by adding over 300,000 jobs in January, the economy ended the first quarter at a 3.8 percent unemployment rate. In February, annual wage growth for hourly workers increased by 3.4 percent, the fastest rate since early 2009.

As they have since the start of his term in office, President Trump’s actions have yielded real results for American businesses, workers, and families, increasing incomes while cutting taxes and regulations.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross was present the Minority Business Development Agency 50th Anniversary Celebration

March 5th, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross was present and remarks at the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) 50th Anniversary Celebration in Washington.

Ross said, A lot of dedicated, passionate people have made it possible for the Minority Business Development Agency to achieve such a milestone. Congratulations! And thank you — to all the people who work in the small but mighty MBDA — for maintaining a five-decade tradition of excellence. Your service is needed now more than ever to assure the success and growth of minority-owned businesses throughout our nation.<

Ross said, The professional staff of MBDA have worked every day for 50 years with minority businesses throughout the country. When the agency was created, there were a scant 400,000 minority-owned businesses in the United States. Today, there are 11 million, up from four million in 2002.

When we look at minority employer firms, they generate $1.3 trillion in annual sales and have created more than 8.7 million jobs. That is a very big number, but with today’s fast-growing minority population, we need a lot more that we can grow to size and scale.

Since the agency’s inception, it is estimated that MBDA has worked with more than 13 million minority firms in the United States.  And, in just the last five fiscal years, MBDA helped facilitate almost $29 billion in contracts and financing to minority enterprises impacting 111,000 jobs.

One of the most promising avenues to individual prosperity and financial security is owning your own company. It is part of the American heritage and the American dream. And it is the reason so many aspiring people elsewhere in the world want to come to the United States: because it is relatively easy to start a business.

A great feature of the American society is we do not hold failure against anyone who tries. Every serial entrepreneur has had some failures, but they are outweighed by the subsequent successes. Most business start-ups consist of just one or two people initially, and they ramp up from there. With the advent of eCommerce and social media, it is easier than ever before for new companies to gain the attention of large numbers of customers.

Gross Domestic Product, Fourth Quarter and Annual 2018 (Initial Estimate)

Real gross domestic product (GDP) Feb 28th, increased at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the “initial” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 3.4 percent.

Due to the recent partial government shutdown, this initial report for the fourth quarter and annual GDP for 2018 replaces the release of the “advance” estimate originally scheduled for January 30th and the “second” estimate originally scheduled for February 28th.

The Bureau emphasized that the fourth-quarter initial estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency. Updated estimates for the fourth quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on March 28, 2019.

The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential fixed investment, exports, private inventory investment, and federal government spending. Those were partly offset by negative contributions from residential fixed investment, and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

The deceleration in real GDP growth in the fourth quarter reflected decelerations in private inventory investment, PCE, and federal government spending and a downturn in state and local government spending. These movements were partly offset by an upturn in exports and an acceleration in nonresidential fixed investment. Imports increased less in the fourth quarter than in the third quarter.

Current dollar GDP increased 4.6 percent, or $233.2 billion, in the fourth quarter to a level of $20.89 trillion. In the third quarter, current-dollar GDP increased 4.9 percent, or $246.3 billion.

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 1.8 percent in the third quarter. The PCE price index increased 1.5 percent, compared with an increase of 1.6 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.7 percent, compared with an increase of 1.6 percent.

Personal Income

Current-dollar personal incomeincreased $225.1 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of $190.6 billion in the third quarter. The acceleration in personal income reflected an upturn in farm proprietors’ income and accelerations in personal dividend income and personal interest income. Compensation of employees decelerated.

Disposable personal income increased $218.7 billion, or 5.7 percent, in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of $160.9 billion, or 4.2 percent, in the third quarter. Real disposable personal income increased 4.2 percent, compared with an increase of 2.6 percent.

Personal saving was $1.06 trillion in the fourth quarter, compared with $996.0 billion in the third quarter. The personal saving rate — personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income — was 6.7 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with 6.4 percent in the third quarter.

Updates to third quarter GDI

For the third quarter of 2018, the percent change in real GDI was revised from 4.3 percent to 4.6 percent based on newly available tabulations from the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program.

2018 GDP

Real GDP increased 2.9 percent in 2018 (from the 2017 annual level to the 2018 annual level), compared with an increase of 2.2 percent in 2017.

The increase in real GDP in 2018 primarily reflected positive contributions from PCE, nonresidential fixed investment, exports, federal government spending, private inventory investment, and state and local government spending that were slightly offset by a small negative contribution from residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

The acceleration in real GDP from 2017 to 2018 primarily reflected accelerations in nonresidential fixed investment, private inventory investment, federal government spending, exports, and PCE, and an upturn in state and local government spending that were partly offset by a downturn in residential investment.

Current-dollar GDP increased 5.2 percent, or $1.02 trillion, in 2018 to a level of $20.50 trillion, compared with an increase of 4.2 percent, or $778.2 billion, in 2017.

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 2.2 percent in 2018, compared with an increase of 1.9 percent in 2017. The PCE price index increased 2.0 percent, compared with an increase of 1.8 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.9 percent, compared with an increase of 1.6 percent.

During 2018 (measured from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018), real GDP increased 3.1 percent, compared with an increase of 2.5 percent during 2017. The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 2.1 percent during 2018, compared with an increase of 1.9 percent during 2017.

SBA Appoints David M. Glaccum as Associate Administrator of Office of International Trade

WASHINGTON – U.S. Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon announced the appointment of David M. Glaccum as the Associate Administrator of the SBA’s Office of International Trade (OIT). In this role, Glaccum will work to increase the number of small business exporters as well as the volume of exports by American small businesses. As Associate Administrator of OIT, Glaccum’s duties will include overseeing the execution of three program divisions: 1) federal and state trade development; 2) international trade and finance; and 3) international affairs and trade policy.

“I am pleased to welcome David to the SBA,” McMahon said. “His experience in improving and streamlining processes at the United Nations combined with driving results for major initiatives on behalf of the state of South Carolina will be a tremendous asset to entrepreneurs as the SBA continues to show the world the benefits and opportunities of working with America’s small businesses.”

Glaccum brings a variety of experience in federal and state government to the position. While serving as Chief of Staff to United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley he was able to reduce budgets by finding and eliminating unused resources, improving operational efficiency, and led the development of U.S. “Peacekeeping Principles” that have been applied to all 15 peacekeeping mission renewals, resulting in nearly $900 million in savings to the United Nations peacekeeping budget. 

While working as then Governor Haley’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Policy Advisor he successfully led state-wide initiatives to improve South Carolina’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and worked to ensure proper disaster response and recovery financing and allocation of state resources following Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.  Prior to his time with Haley he served as Chief Counsel to South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham where he led the drafting and negotiations on a wide array of complex policy initiatives ranging from criminal and civil justice reform to counter-terrorism enforcement.

Glaccum earned a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Management from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law.