U.S. employment growth slowed more than expected in August after two straight months of robust gains and wage gains moderated. The report comes at a critical time as the jobs numbers are being watched closely by the Federal Reserve. The U.S. central bank meets Sept. 20-21, with the possibility of a rate hike still on the table.
Nonfarm payrolls increased just 151,000 for the month of August after an upwardly revised 275,000 increase in July. The majority of Wall Street economists expecting the nonfarm payrolls report to show a gain of 180,000 in August, with hiring in manufacturing and construction sectors declining. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent as more people entered the labour market.
Friday morning saw another positive figure printed in the UK with Construction activity showing a recovery in August, reversing most of the slump seen in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote. Output fell for a third month however the pace of decline slowed markedly. The construction PMI jumped to 49.2 in August from 45.9 in July, with the reading better than the 46.1 figure expected by most economists.
Commentators explained that “The past month has seen a number of the bigger players in the sector report robust results with a relatively upbeat outlook, suggesting there may have been less negative impact from the EU referendum result than was originally feared”.
09:00 –EUR: Eurozone services PMI (Aug) expected to be unchanged at 53.1
09:30 – GBP: UK Services PMI (Aug) expected to increase to 50.00 from 47.4
USD Bank holiday today – Labour Day