IT IS morning in America as, according to the newest figures from the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the economy added 255,000 new jobs in July, after a red hot June in which payrolls rose by 292,000. Truthfully it’s actually late morning, or the morning has been around for a while at any rate, since July was in fact the 70th consecutive month of employment growth, which is pretty good. Granted, things looked dicey just two months ago, when only 24,000 new jobs were added. Yet America seems to have put that hiccup behind it. The thoughts of officials at the Fed would surely be turning to how soon they can raise interest rates again if ever they were anywhere else.
On the face of things, a hike might look like a not entirely unreasonable response to continued job growth. The economy seems to have survived the quarter-point rise in December of last year, which was the first in nearly a decade (though the hike was followed by a marked deceleration in both GDP and employment growth, not to mention a market-wrenching, inflation-smushing rise in the value of the dollar). The unemployment rate remains at 4.9%, which suggests that payroll growth at…Continue reading