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Trump Breaks Protocol, Sends Market Signal on Jobs Report Before Data Released

04 June 2018

US President Donald Trump is under fire again, this time for posting a tweet hinting at strong employment figures shortly before the release of a report containing the official data.

"Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning", Trump tweeted at 7:21 a.m.

The Department of Labor reported at 8:30 a.m. that unemployment in the US had dropped to its lowest level since 1969 as the economy added a higher-than-expected 223,000 jobs in May. The presidents and other federal officials are briefed on the numbers one day prior to the release of the report.

Jason Furman, who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration, said this data has remained closely guarded for years, with many Cabinet members even shielded from the information until it becomes public.

For decades, federal officials have taken great care to prevent providing any early indications to investors about monthly jobs report data that can move markets.

Based on its potential to move financial markets, the jobs report is held under a strict embargo until its official release time.

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Presidents typically get to see the numbers the day before, per a longstanding tradition.

Still, Obama's first NEC director, Lawrence Summers, said Friday that Trump's Twitter post would have prompted numerous investigations during the Obama or Bill Clinton administrations.

President Donald Trump promised on the campaign trail to bring real life back to the American economy, and if May's jobs report is any indication of his work almost 18 months into office, Trump has certainly succeeded. "The advance info is sacrosanct - not to be shared", tweeted Bush administration White House press secretary Ari Fleischer.

However, a 1985 Office of Management and Budget policy directive published in the Federal Register during the administration of President Ronald Reagan outlined an updated procedure to ensure that the jobs report and other significant federal economic indicators would not be released prematurely.

Some legal experts believe that Trump, through this tweet, may have broken the protocol.

Social media users saw the message as evidence that Trump had seen the numbers, and that they were good. "His tweet basically said like everybody else, 'await the jobs numbers.' You can read into that 10 different things if you want to read into it".

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The economy added 223,000 jobs in May, better than economists predicted.

According to analysts, the figures increased the likelihood of a June interest rate hike by the US central bank, the Federal Reserve.

"He chose to tweet", Kudlow said, downplaying the matter.

He has championed the data since becoming president, though, particularly when it reflects strength. "I tracked him down on Air Force One". "But secondly, and fundamentally, its really important that government statistics are perceived as being nonpartisan, nonpolitical data".

Wage growth came in strong at 2.7 percent, slightly beating expectations of 2.6 percent. "It's not the first norm he's breached; I think I've lost count of how many norms he's ignored or violated".

"He simply ignored the wall", New York University presidential historian Timothy Naftali said of Trump's post Friday.

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Trump Breaks Protocol, Sends Market Signal on Jobs Report Before Data Released