Monday Moneybeat

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming next on The World and Everything in It, the Monday Moneybeat.

SWONK: I wasn’t expecting a recession for 2019 and I think we can certainly put those worries, for this year, at least, behind us.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Diane Swonk is chief economist with the financial-services firm Grant Thornton. That’s her reaction to a solid jobs report for the month of April:

American employers added 263,000 new jobs.

That’s 103 months in a row of jobs growth. If the streak continues into July, it’ll be the longest expansion in American economic history.

SWONK: The gains are in everything from admin services to computer programmers and the sophisticated work they do, and that reflects the increased demand for automation, AI, and how companies are now applying those new technologies, which could mean more productivity growth down the road.

The headline unemployment rate fell from 3.8 percent to 3.6 for April. That’s a 50-year low. Average hourly pay year on year is up 3.2 percent. Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial, says talk earlier in the spring of recession turned out to be, his words, “much ado about nothing.” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow met with reporters at the White House and took a bit of a victory lap.

KUDLOW: We had a big tax-cut package last year. It’s working. We had major overhaul of regulations, which is working. We’ve opened up the energy sector. We’re trying to get pro-growth trade reforms through. The economy’s booming. The economy’s booming.

The jobs report Friday drove a rally in the stock market.

REICHARD: All the major indexes posted gains for the day, but for the Dow Jones Industrials it wasn’t quite enough to offset losses earlier in the week. The Dow finished the week down slightly, one-tenth of a percent. All the other majors posted winning weeks: The Standard & Poor’s 500 was up two-tenths, same for the Nasdaq, and the Russell 2000 gained 1.4 percent.

EICHER: Back to the drawing board for President Trump, working to fill vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board. He’d picked two political loyalists and Fed critics to take posts on the central bank. One of them, one-time presidential candidate Herman Cain, ran into Republican opposition in the Senate and took his name out of the running last month. Last week, the second Trump pick, Stephen Moore, also withdrew, but he did so reluctantly. The news media had called attention to controversial writings by Moore that made numerous Republican senators uncomfortable. Two GOP women senators indicated they were sexist comments they couldn’t look past.

And that is today’s Monday Moneybeat.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks with reporters outside the White House, Friday, May 3, 2019, in Washington. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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