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The Week in Numbers: US Jobs Growth Slows

In Singapore, construction saw the largest slowdown in payments amongst all the sectors. Slow payments by the construction sector in the first quarter of 2017 jumped to 55.2%, an increase from 48.0% in the fourth quarter of 2016. This was reported by the Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau on Tuesday.

Payments are considered prompt when at least 90% of total bills are paid within the agreed contractual terms. On the other hand, payments are deemed as slow when more than 50% of the total bills are paid after the period agreed upon.

In China, the service sector grew at its weakest pace in six months last month. The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index for March fell to 52.2 points from 52.6 points in February. Anything above the 50 points level shows expansion of the sector.

The latest nonfarm payroll data released in the US showed that job growth has slowed sharply, with just 98,000 jobs added in March, as compared to predictions of 180,000 jobs by economists. The growth is also down from February’s revised job gains of 219,000. The unemployment rate fell to 4.5%, the lowest level since May 2007. The unemployment rate in the US has been at 5% or below for 18 months now, which points to full employment for the longest period since the financial crisis.

And finally, a 59.6-carat pink diamond was sold for a record £57.2 million in Hong Kong to a local jeweller, Chow Tai Fook, after a bidding war between three phone bidders that lasted 5 minutes. The diamond, dubbed the “Pink Star”, set “a new record for any diamond or jewel at auction,” said Sotheby’s, the broker in charge for the auction.

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