This is the web version of the WSJ’s daily economic newsletter. You can sign up for daily delivery here. Good morning! Today we look at Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s defense of stimulus policies, oil and aluminum’s wild ride, U.S.-China trade friction, signs Germany’s economy is back on track, and why older Americans are defying trends and working longer. FED TO EMERGING MARKETS: DON’T BLAME US Emerging economies from Argentina to Indonesia are struggling as rising U.S. interest rates and a strengthening dollar prompt investors to pull money out the world’s riskier markets. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s response: Don’t blame me. Mr. Powell pushed back on complaints that the Fed’s efforts to spur U.S. economic growth over the past decade were responsible for a surge of capital into emerging markets, and that Fed moves to remove stimulus would spark upheaval, Nick Timiraos reports. “While global factors play important role in influencing domestic financial conditions, the role of U.S. monetary policy is often exaggerated,” he said at a conference in the most un-emerging of markets, Switzerland. Comments or suggestions for Real Time Economics? Write to Jeffrey Sparshott at email@example.com, tweet to @WSJecon and visit wsj.com/economy for the latest. WHAT TO WATCH TODAY The Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for March is out at 10 a.m. ET. This is the little brother to the main jobs report and by the time it comes out it’s a bit dated. But it still offers some granular detail on labor market churn, including how many people quit a job, how many were hired and the number of job openings across major industries. President Trump is expected to announce his decision on the Iran nuclear accord at 2 p.m ET. TOP STORIES IRAN WATCH Strong global economic growth, production cuts and worries over conflict in the Middle East helped propel U.S. oil prices above $70 for the first time since 2014. The next twist for markets: President Donald Trump said he would announce on Tuesday his decision on the Iran nuclear accord. A withdrawal from the accord with Iran would raise the prospect of renewed sanctions that could curtail that country’s oil output. Mr. Trump tweeted that he would announce his decision at 2 p.m. ET, Michael R. Gordon, Felicia Schwartz and Ian Talley report. OIL PRICES DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS Texas wrapped up 2017 with the fastest-growing economy in the U.S., propelled by a swift resurgence in oil extraction that lifted business across the state. The Lone Star economy grew at a 5.2% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the fourth quarter, with the mining industry the leading factor behind output gains, Sarah Chaney reports. The sector helped buoy Texas’s economic output over the year, after the state had weathered several quarters of weak growth and even contractions. The economic recovery sheds light on how strong oil production in the Permian Basin is closely linked with other sectors, namely manufacturing, and fuels overall growth. Look for those benefits to show up in other oil-producing regions including Pennsylvania, North Dakota and New Mexico. OIL PRICES MESS WITH CONSUMERS “Rising prices for gasoline act like a tax hike on U.S. consumers. Should today’s price be sustained, as much as one-third of the benefit from lower [income tax] withholding this year could be wiped out,” according to Morgan Stanley economists Ellen Zentner, Michel Dilmanian and Molly Wharton. How does that work? The bank estimates that a sustained 10 cent increase in gasoline prices equals an additional $10.6 billion per year to fill up the tank. At today’s prices, “That ‘steals’ about an annualized $38bn in spending from elsewhere, or roughly one-third of the benefit to households from lower withholding.” Still, prices aren’t so high that they’ll outweigh the benefits of the tax cut. WHAT KEEPS Boeing UP AT NIGHT? More evidence markets can’t move independently of politics: Wild swings in aluminum prices have jolted buyers and sellers of the metal, threatening profits of companies that make everything from jets to beer cans. The price for aluminum deliveries in three months’ time hit a more-than-six-year high recently. During April, prices also swung over their widest monthly range since at least 1997, Amrith Ramkumar, Scott Patterson and Sarah McFarlane report. The volatility in aluminum threatens to squeeze profit margins of large companies that use the metal and higher prices have contributed to worries over inflation. Executives at Whirlpool, Harley-Davidson and Caterpillar all pointed to rising metals costs as potential headwinds. Boeing and Ford said they are monitoring prices though they aren’t seeing any material effects. HERE HE COMES China’s President Xi Jinping plans to dispatch his top economic aide to Washington next week to continue discussions over ongoing trade disputes with the White House. Vice Premier Liu He’s visit is slated to come after a team of U.S. trade officials traveled to China last week at the direction of President Trump, Michael C. Bender reports. The U.S. team returned without a significant breakthrough in the standoff over tariffs. Mr. Trump received a briefing Monday morning on those talks and remains optimistic that a deal can be reached. CHINA TRADE SURPLUS WIDENS China’s trade surplus with the U.S. widened last month. The country’s trade surplus with the U.S. reached $22.19 billion in April, up 43.8% from March, Liyan Qi reports. Over the first four months of the year, China’s trade surplus was $80.4 billion, up 13.4% compared with the same period of 2017. Rising U.S.-China trade tensions may have prompted some companies to bring forward shipments in anticipation of higher tariffs, economists have said. ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST Toshiba has mostly given up on an $18 billion sale of its chip unit to a group led by U.S. private-equity firm Bain Capital. That’s because Toshiba officials consider near-term Chinese antitrust approval unlikely. Chinese authorities have been generally uncommunicative about the status of Toshiba’s application in recent weeks, Takashi Mochizuki and Kosaku Narioka report. “The deal is going nowhere, and the current scheme is dead,” said a person directly involved in Toshiba’s effort. The brushoff comes during a period of heightened trade tension between China and the U.S., home to Bain and others in the buyer consortium. Chinese regulators gave an initial pessimistic review in April to another chip deal involving a U.S. buyer, Qualcomm’s $44 billion purchase of NXP Semiconductors. GERMANY BACK ON TRACK German industrial production bounced back in March and exports rose strongly, bolstering expectations that a recent string of weak economic indicators marked a dip in activity, rather than the end of solid growth, Nina Adam writes. Industrial output rose 1.0% from February, led by a 2.6% gain in capital goods output. Exports rose 1.7% in March from the month before, while Germany’s adjusted trade surplus rose to EUR22 billion ($26 billion). Economists breathed a sigh of relief. “Rebounding exports and industrial production show that talk of a downswing was premature,” said ING Bank’s Carsten Brzeski. CHARTS OF THE DAY: WORKING LONGER U.S. labor-force participation rates have been in long-term decline, especially for men. Older Americans have been defying those trends. Why? Improving health? Better education? Wellesley College’s Courtney Coile has some ideas: “Rising women’s participation in the economy encouraged older husbands to work longer due to leisure complementarities. A shift in employer-provided pensions from [defined benefit] to [defined contribution] type plans reduced the share of workers facing strong incentives to retire at particular ages, while a decline in retiree health coverage left some workers with no means of obtaining health insurance other than through their job, at least until the Medicare eligibility age of 65; both changes contributed to longer work lives. Finally, changes to the Social Security [full retirement age], [delayed retirement credit], and [retirement earnings test] have strengthened the incentive for work past the [full retirement age]….”QUOTE OF THE DAY “The obvious risk to the economy now is inflation. We started with a full-employment economy last year, and then gave it substantial fiscal stimulus, both in tax cuts and spending increases—which Democrats had their fingers in, too. I’d expect inflation is going to be a problem in the next couple of years—and that’s been the mechanism that’s often led us into a recession.” – Martin Baily, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (under President Bill Clinton) and now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, in an interview with the WSJ TWEET OF THE DAY [wsj-responsive-sandbox id = "0" ] WHAT ELSE WE’RE READING The U.S.-China tech wars look likely to severely disrupt the global tech sector on both sides of the Pacific. The Financial Times examines early fallout, including banned component sales, a blocked $142 billion chip takeover and demands for fresh concessions on another chip deal. More is coming, including U.S. bans on using technology from Chinese companies. “All this threatens, in the words of one consultant, to wreak ‘economic carnage.’ ” There’s a downside to everything. So-called “nudge” policies, which push people toward decisions as varied as 401(k) contributions and health insurance, may create a kind of unintended dependency. “We show that people who faced better defaults in the past are more likely to follow defaults than people who faced random defaults, hurting their later performance. This malleability of the default bias explains certain marketing practices and serves as an insight for libertarian paternalists,” Thomas de Haan and Jona Linde write in the latest Royal Economic Society Economic Journal. Allowing high school students in China more choice over their curriculum led to “better academic performance in university. They are happier, and their physical and mental well-being is better. These students are more likely to have positive attitudes towards themselves and they are more involved in student clubs,” Louisiana State University’s Han Yu and Naci Mocan write. The reason? The students are allowed to focus on subjects in which they are interested. UP NEXT: WEDNESDAY The U.S. producer price index for April, out at 8:30 a.m. ET, is expected to rise 0.2% from the prior month. Excluding food and energy, the measure is also forecast to rise 0.2%. While this is an important peek at inflation, Thursday’s consumer-price index will draw more attention. The Atlanta Fed’s Raphael Bostic speaks on the economy and monetary policy at 1:15 p.m. ET.