Despite the fact that 175000 new jobs were created last month, the percentage of the workforce idle and actively seeking work in the USA edged up from 6.6 to 6.7% figures from the US Department of Labour show for February.
It was another mixed week on the world’s major markets with US and Japanese markets gaining, but European markets falling back.
There had been speculation in some quarters that the ECB might drop its interest rate even lower from its already historic low as a mechanism to inject a little inflation into the Eurozone economy.
When equity traders tire of the roller coaster ride their money is taking on the stock market, they look to precious metals as an alternative investment.
The fact that a meagre level of projected growth for the first quarter of this year of between 0.4 and 0.5% in the Eurozone would be the bloc’s best performance since June 2011 really tells the story of how deep the economic slump triggered by the Global Financial Crisis has been.
Asian economic growth is moving rapidly ahead. The economies of China, Japan and South Korea currently account for about 25 percent of world output.
Recent political turmoil in the Ukraine which has seen massed demonstrations in the streets and up to 80 protestors shot dead by sniper fire, presumably on officially sanctioned orders have had repercussions in Russia, reports suggest that hundreds have been wounded.
The rising threat of war between the Ukraine and Russia is scaring investors and is having an immediate effect on commodity prices.
The figures for growth or contraction of a given economy are always subject to revision from the preliminary estimate as more hard data becomes available, making the reading of economic performance more reliable.
Friday marked the final trading session for February and again, the week saw mixed fortunes for the world’s major exchanges.
For many years, the Japanese economy has been blighted by deflation where the price of goods falls over time.
The UK, and more specifically The City, is one of the world’s most important financial centres – some would argue that it is the most important centre.
The German economy grew by 0.4% in the final quarter of 2013, giving a modest annual growth figure of 1.3% - the German economy started 2013 with a quarterly growth figure of essentially zero.
Property bubbles can have serious consequences on a nation’s economy as recent experience in Ireland and Spain have highlighted.
Last week was a mixed affair for the world’s major markets with the Nikkei returning to a weekly positive result for the first time this year.