U.S. job growth seen slowing in December after robust gains
- U.S job growth likely slowed in December, but the pace of hiring probably remains more than enough to keep the longest economic expansion in history on track despite a deepening downturn in a manufacturing sector stung by trade disputes.
- The Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report on Friday could buttress the Federal Reserve’s assessment that both the economy and monetary policy are in a “good place.”
- Worries that a downturn might be triggered by the Trump administration’s trade war with China spurred the Fed to cut interest rates three times in 2019. Indeed economic growth did slow last year, throttling back to 2.1% in the third quarter from 2018’s pace of nearly 3%.
- Now, though, with a Phase 1 deal with China set to be signed next week, policymakers are more confident in the outlook and last month signaled borrowing costs could remain unchanged at least through this year. Economists are pegging growth at the end of last year around a 2.3% rate.