The U.S. equity market is lately growing by leaps and bounds. This stupendous run has primarily been fueled by President Trump’s business-friendly approach, a strong domestic economy, reduced tax rates, robust manufacturing activity and improvements in the labor market.
Moreover, despite job additions being low in March, the overall employment situation remains strong. In fact, the slowdown in the pace of hiring gives credence to the view that the economy is near full employment. Additionally, earnings growth continued to inch up and unemployment rate remained flat at a 17-year low even as wage gains were encouraging.
In such a scenario, when the economy is at full throttle, adding mutual funds from sectors like construction, healthcare as well as manufacturing seems prudent.
A Sturdy Economy
The Trump administration remains focused on improving the ease of doing business as evident from the recent tax cuts. The historic overhaul of the tax structure to reduce tax liabilities from 35% to 21% has not only boosted corporate earnings but has also powered an increase in business investments.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in March and the overall economy grew for the 107th consecutive month. U.S. manufacturing activity continued its robust performance in March as the PMI measured by ISM touched 59.3%. This indicates strong growth in manufacturing for the 19th consecutive month, led by continued expansion in new orders, production activity, employment and inventories, with suppliers continuing to struggle delivering to demand. Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 17 reported growth in March.
Coming to the non-manufacturing sector, NMI (Non-Manufacturing Index) was at 58.8% in March, recording the 98th consecutive month of expansion. The Prices Index and the Employment Index gained 0.5% and 1.6% to hit 61.5% and 56.6%, respectively. As many as 15 non-manufacturing industries reported growth.
Healthy Wage Gains Amid Flat Jobless Rate