Strong employment report makes Powell’s job harder to turn cautious

Employment remains robust for the US economy.  The non-farm payroll report for December beat expectations with a 312,000 reading, way above the 184,000 forecast and the prior reading which was revised higher to 176,000.  Wages are stellar, also rising to 0.4% from 0.2% and above the eyed 0.2%.  The unemployment rate rose from 3.7% to 3.9% as the participation rate jumped to 63.1%.

Stocks traded slightly lower following the data release and the dollar rallied against its major trading partners.

The stage is now set for Fed Chair Powell, who many were hoping to turn cautious at today’s American Economic Association’s Annual Meeting.  It will be difficult following this strong report, but Powell should still be able to still temper his assessment of the US economy.  .

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Ed Moya

Ed Moya

Senior Market Analyst at OANDA
With more than 20 years’ trading experience, Ed Moya is a market analyst with OANDA, producing up-to-the-minute fundamental analysis of geo-political events and monetary policies in the US, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Over the course of his career, he has worked with some of the world’s leading forex brokerages and research departments including Global Forex Trading, FX Solutions and Trading Advantage. Most recently he worked with TradeTheNews.com, where he provided market analysis on economic data and corporate news. Based in New York, Ed is a regular guest on several major financial television networks including BNN, CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg. He is often quoted in leading print and online publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. He holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University. Follow Ed on Twitter @edjmoya ‏
Ed Moya