Market Environment
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April 17, 2017

1Q 2017 Market Environment

U.S. Economy

The third estimate for fourth quarter GDP was released showing an increase of 2.1%, an improvement from the previous fourth quarter estimate of 1.9%. Compared to the prior estimate personal consumption expenditures increased by a greater amount. Personal consumption expenditures were once again the largest contributor to GDP growth, with net exports detracting from it. In March, the unemployment rate declined to 4.5%. In the 1st quarter, 1.7 million people were classified as long-term unemployed, or jobless for 27 weeks or more, constituting 23.3% of the unemployed. In March, the labor force participation rate remained at 63% while the employmentpopulation ratio stayed at 60.1%. The average duration of unemployment in March lasted 25.3 weeks and broad unemployment (U6) fell to 8.9%. Non-farm payroll gained 98K jobs in March and averaged 180K per month over the last twelve months. Non-farm payroll was revised for February and March for a net decrease of 38K jobs.

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