Trump tweet on jobs report may have breached a 1985 federal directive

Trump appears to comment on jobs report before its official release

Roughly an hour before the employment data was released, President Donald Trump appeared to hint on Twitter that a strong jobs report was coming.

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

Earlier on Friday, Labour Department data showed job growth accelerated in May and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 per cent, pointing to rapidly tightening labour market conditions that also showed wages rising solidly.

"Except for members of the staff of the agency issuing the principal economic indicator who have been designated by the agency head to provide technical explanations of the data, employees of the Executive Branch shall not comment publicly on the data until at least one hour after the official release time", the directive added.

Still, Jason Furman, a Harvard Kennedy School professor who served on former president Barack Obama's Council of Economic Advisers as its chairman, called Trump out.

The jobs data come out once a month and can lead to massive buying or selling trends on Wall Street, depending on how the information is received.

Within seconds of Trump's post, the US dollar strengthened and Treasury yields rose, as investors anticipated the strong report they thought Trump had foreshadowed.

There's a reason presidents and policy makers carefully avoid saying a single word about important economic numbers before they're officially released.

Moments later, the sell-off began, pushing the yield on the 10-year note from 2.8876 at the time of Trump's tweet to 2.8913 at 7:24 as traders left their safe haven play in favor of riskier assets such as stocks - which also moved upward.

Trump often wants to know the information as soon as possible, a person familiar with the briefings said, and receives the information on Thursday evenings, as he did this week when he was briefed by Kudlow.

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If Trump did see the numbers, his tweet may have violated a federal rule, issued in 1985, governing the release of embargoed federal data like the jobs report. "The advance info is sacrosanct - not to be shared".

Defying fears of a global trade war, US businesses have made it abundantly clear that they see no reason to stop hiring.

Meanwhile, Kudlow said trade frictions between the United States and Canada are a "family quarrel", brushing aside concerns expressed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as an overreaction.

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

Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, says the government takes extreme measures to keep this information closely held to try and protect it from any sort of politicization or the appearance that it has been tampered with.

He has championed the data since becoming president, though, particularly when it reflects strength.

Wage growth came in strong at 2.7 percent, slightly beating expectations of 2.6 percent.

"I don't think he gave anything away, incidentally".

Trump's tweet could set a "bad precedent" for future job-related announcements from the federal government, said Gary Kaltbaum, president of Kaltbaum Capital Management.

President Trump pumps his fist to the crowd as he arrives at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston, Texas on May 31, 2018.

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