The Week Ahead: Jobs Report, Wisconsin Primary & Another Chinese Crackdown

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Good Friday?

On Friday, the Obama administration’s March employment figures will be released. Last month’s report was largely positive. February saw the economy add 227,000 jobs. The “solid” showing continued gains from January (284,000) and December (223,000).

Predictions for the employment report are quite varied. MarketWatch sees job growth slowing in March. Bloomberg expects a fourth consecutive month of over 200,000 added workers.

In addition to Friday’s jobs report, car sales are scheduled for a Tuesday release. Soaring gas prices have dominated headlines but haven’t kept consumer spending from increasing. Large Chinese factories saw an 11-month high in activity in March, however the broader economic outlook for the world’s second-largest economy was not as simple.

GOP Primary

Republicans continue on this week with their primary process, with primaries on Wednesday April 3rd in Maryland, Washington DC and Wisconsin.

Gov. Mitt Romney leads polling in Wisconsin by large margins. Real Clear Politics average for top polls puts Gov. Romney at 40%, Sen. Santorum at 32.5%, Dr. Ron Paul at 9.3%, and Speaker Gingrich at 6%. Numbers in Maryland are similar, with Gov. Romney polling ahead.

Positive polling numbers are backed up by a convenient group of endorsements made throughout last week. Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, Rep. Paul Ryan, former Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio, and President George H. W. Bush, all endorsed Gov. Romney publicly.

Despite it all, Sen. Santorum said on Sunday’s Meet The Press, he would not halt his campaign until Gov. Romney wins the 1,144 delegates required.

Dr. Ron Paul will visit California this week for a series of campaign events and private fundraisers. Dr. Paul will visit Cal State Chico on Tuesday, UCLA on Wednesday and UC Berkeley on Thursday.

World

Opposition leader and Nobel Peace laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi and her political party, National League for Democracy, won a seat on Myanmar’s parliament on Sunday.

Internal political issues have fueled internet coup rumors in China, resulting in arrests and a web crackdown. For their May 2012 issue, Vanity Fair examines in World War 3.0, who should control the internet.

The Economist reports Peter Cruddas, who served as Britain’s Conservative Party’s treasurer, told journalists posing as lobbyists that their donation money could secure access to top government figures, including Prime Minister David Cameron, and influence policy.

What else is on your radar this week?