Green light for hikes?
In the US it looks as though interest rate hikes may be imminent as the economy continued to add jobs at a steady pace.
The July non-farm payrolls result from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics was +215,000 with the result for both May and June revised up by a combined +14,000.
July 2015 marked the 58th consecutive month of employment gains for the US economy, with the month's jobs gains focused in the services sector, including retail (+36,000), health care (+28,000) and professional and technical services (+27,000).
There were also some jobs gains in the manufacturing sector (+15,000).
The average monthly rate of jobs gains in 2015 has been a little slower than was seen in 2014 at +211,000.
The unemployment rate held steady at 5.3 per cent having almost halved since its peak.
Average hourly earnings ticked up by 5 cents to $24.99, and importantly average hourly earnings were up by 2.1 per cent over the past year.
Although inflation is expected to remain fairly muted over the period ahead, there is increasingly speculation that the Federal Reserve could begin hiking interest rates as soon as the next month (after one more month of employment data).
It's been a long time between drinks.