Welcome New ASA Members
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. Increased Again
Conference Board News Release (04/17/15)
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.2% in March to 121.4, following a 0.1% increase in February.
“Although the leading economic index still points to a moderate expansion in economic activity, its slowing growth rate over recent months suggests weaker growth may be ahead,” says Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at the Conference Board. “Building permits was the weakest component this month, but average working hours and manufacturing new orders have also slowed the LEI’s growth over the last six months.”
The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.1% in March to 112.0, following a 0.2% increase in February, and the Lagging Economic Index increased 0.4% in March to 116.2, following a 0.3% increase in February.
Fed Shies Away From June Rate Hike
Wall Street Journal (04/16/15) Jon Hilsenrath
Soft economic data has fostered uncertainty at the U.S. Federal Reserve about when to begin increasing short-term interest rates. Recent economic reports showed a slowdown in U.S. hiring in March, weak growth in consumer spending, a large decline in industrial output, and softer-than-anticipated home building, reinforcing a view the economy downshifted in the first quarter and didn’t have great momentum moving into the second. Fed officials are hoping to see improvement in the labor market and want to be confident inflation is rising toward their 2% target before they raise rates from near zero.
Philadelphia Fed: Manufacturing Increased Modestly in April
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (04/16/15)
Manufacturing activity in the Mid-Atlantic region increased at a modest pace in April, according to firms responding to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey. The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, increased from 5.0 in March to 7.5 this month.
Firms’ responses suggest some improvement in labor market conditions compared with March. The current employment index increased eight points, to 11.5, its highest reading in five months. The percentage of firms reporting an increase in employees in April (21%) exceeded the percentage reporting a decrease (9%). Meanwhile, the percentage of firms reporting a longer workweek (14%) was greater than the percentage reporting a shorter workweek (10%) for the first time in four months .
U.S. Consumer Prices Up 0.2% in March
Wall Street Journal (04/17/15) Kate Davidson; Eric Morath
Consumer prices rose in March for the second consecutive month after declining through much of the winter, a sign of inflation. The consumer-price index increased a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in March from a month earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Excluding the energy and food categories, core prices also rose 0.2%. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast prices would rise 0.3% and core prices would increase 0.1%.
ASA for You
Have you registered for the 2015 ASA Staffing Law Conference? It takes place April 28–29 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in metro Washington, DC. This is the only event dedicated exclusively to the legal and regulatory issues facing staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions companies, featuring such sessions as “The ACA Four Months In—What Staffing Firms Need to Know Now,” “OSHA’s Temporary Worker Initiative and How to Stay Compliant,” “On the Frontlines—Legal Issues for Sales Personnel,” and more.
ASA-certified professionals can earn up to 9.5 continuing education hours, including 8.25 hours of legal CE. Review the full agenda and register today at staffinglawconference.net. ASA members get a discount, so join today and save.
The ASA board of directors and staff welcome the following new members, which joined during the week ending April 12.
BTG Payroll Inc.
Fort Worth, TX
Consultants 2 Go
KRE Talent Solutions LLC
Is your firm interested in joining ASA? Contact the membership department at 703-253-2020 or email@example.com.