“Five Things to Watch in the January Jobs Report.” This morning’s Wall Street Journal article led with:
The U.S. government releases its broad measure of the January labor market [at 8:30 AM EST] on Friday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect the Labor Department to report employers added 170,000 jobs during the month and the unemployment rate held at 3.9%. Here are five things to watch in the report.
- Shutdown Spillover
- Happy 100 [months of consecutive jobs growth]
- Wacky [unemployment] rate
- Revision Watch
- Pay Raise?
President Trump’s schedule (EST):
11:45 AM: Holds a meeting to discuss fighting human trafficking on the southern border;
12:30 PM: Lunch with Secretary of State Pompeo;
4:00 PM: With the First Lady, departs the White House;
6:45 PM: Arrives Palm Beach, FL on his way to Mar-a-Lago.
Sunday, President Trump will appear on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“Trump Gives Upbeat Assessment of Trade Talks With China.” Last night’s Wall Street Journal article led with:
WASHINGTON—The U.S. and China moved closer to settling their trade dispute, with President Trump saying he expects to meet again with Chinese President Xi Jinping to resolve the conflict that has rattled the global economy.
Mr. Trump’s upbeat assessment came as he met Thursday with Vice Premier Liu He of China in the Oval Office following two days of high-level talks between the two sides.
During the talks, the Chinese delegation proposed to the U.S. that Mr. Trump meet with Mr. Xi in the Chinese resort island of Hainan after his planned summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, in late February, people briefed on the talks said.
At the meeting, Mr. Liu said China would buy 5 million tons of U.S. soybeans daily, a number Mr. Trump repeated, adding it would “make our farmers very happy.” The administration later clarified that China has agreed to buy an additional 5 million metric tons of soybeans—but not daily, and no time frame was specified.
The development capped a day in which Mr. Trump sent what appeared to be mixed messages on prospects for a deal by the March 1 deadline.
At one point, the president said he might be willing to accept a limited agreement by the deadline and extend the talks to get a more comprehensive deal. “I think we can do it by March 1. Can you get it down on paper by March 1? I don’t know,” Mr. Trump said, adding he was aiming for a meaningful agreement.
“This isn’t going to be a small deal with China,” Mr. Trump said. “This is either going to be a big deal or it’s going to be a deal that we’ll just postpone for a while.”
But as Mr. Trump and Mr. Liu met with reporters Thursday afternoon, the president said he didn’t anticipate the need to extend the deadline. His top China trade negotiator, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, later said the March 1 deadline remains intact.