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Recent data showing an improving U.S. economy, including a rebound in jobs growth had fueled speculation that the Fed will be forced to raise rates sooner than expected in order to keep inflation near its 2% annual target. However, last Friday’s release of the nonfarm payrolls report for July revealed U.S. jobs growth slowed in the previous month, and the general bias among analysts Monday morning is that the Fed may keep rates where they are for a bit longer, opting to give priority to addressing slack in the labor market over taming inflation.
The Labor Department reported Friday that that U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in July, below forecasts for jobs growth of 233,000. The previous month’s figure was revised up to a gain of 298,000 from a previously reported increase of 288,000.
Although it was the sixth successive month that the U.S. economy added more than 200,000 jobs, the unemployment rate unexpectedly ticked up to 6.2% from 6.1% in June, as more unemployed persons began looking for work.
In addition, wage growth was flat, rising only one cent to $24.45. While wages have risen 2% over the past 12 months, they’re unchanged from the start of the year.
Meanwhile Monday, investors are celebrating news that Portugal prevented the collapse of one of its biggest banks. About $1.2 trillion was wiped from the value of global equities last week amid concern that the crisis at Espirito Santo and the default by Argentina would constrict credit markets.
As for gold, data Monday showed last week’s drop below the $1,300 per ounce level did not dampen inflows into gold ETFs. Exchange traded funds backed by physical gold increased four metric tons last week to reach a total of 1,743.7 metric tons. July recorded the highest inflows for the dozens of gold-backed funds traded around the world since November 2012 and was the first monthly net addition since March.
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Market News Archive
This week on the Vault, Brian recaps this week's deluge of economic data, and what it will take for gold to break out of its current trading range. Plus, Mike Getlin joins Brian to offer his take on 2nd quarter GDP, the Fed’s increasingly ambiguous language...watch more
Gold Standard with Brian Baker
On today's show, Brian recaps last Friday's July non-farm payrolls report and looks at the challenges ahead for Federal Reserve policymakers.watch more
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