The very strong November non-farm payroll figures from the US, a key economic indicator for the US economy, have been welcomed by asset managers. David Harris, senior investment director for Schroders US multi-sector fixed income, said the gain of 321,000 jobs was unquestionably strong and significantly ahead of expectations. The official survey estimate had been 230,000. Harris added that most employment measures included in the monthly report were positive, and will support hawks at the Federal Reserve wanting a move away from a zero interest rate policy. He concluded: “The Federal Reserve will no doubt continue to refer to weakness outside the US and the still-low inflation rate, but the domestic employment situation continues to look more and more healthy each month.”
Seneca Investment Managers global investment strategist, Peter Elston, commented: “Non-farm payrolls came in considerably stronger than expected in November. The big question is whether this represents the start of a return to the sort of consistently strong numbers we saw in the late 90s, or is simply a blip.” Elston said that it is yet to be seen if the US economy is strong enough to absorb the ending, in October, of the Federal Reserve’s bond buying programme.