Money Minute Friday 10 January: big news from the US

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Today’s big economic news comes from the US. It’s non-farm payrolls day. That means we get to see how many jobs the US economy added last month. We also get an update on the pace of wage growth, and the overall unemployment rate. In November, payrolls expanded by 226,000 jobs. That was much stronger than expected, and is unlikely to have been repeated in December. Analysts expect a more modest, but still healthy gain, of around 160,000.

Wages are expected to rise by 3.1% year on year, while the unemployment rate is expected to remain at the historically low level of 3.5%. For as long as the employment outlook is healthy, that suggests that US consumers will keep spending. That in turn implies that the US economy will remain in good shape.
As far as markets go, with the Federal Reserve apparently comfortable with keeping interest rates low as long as inflation remains tame, investors would probably react positively to a strong report, and negatively to a weak one.

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