Friday saw a quite a quite shocking miss on US Non-Farm Payrolls of just +20k, but the number needed to be seen in context of an exceptional January print (revised up to 311k) and weather-related hits to the likes of the construction sector (e.g. the Household Survey, from which the unemployment rate is calculated not non-farm payrolls, reported that the number of non-farm workers unable to work because of the weather was some 160k above the average of the last 10 Februarys). I should also note that at 186k, the 3-month average is still more than enough to keep downward pressure on the unemployment rate. Indeed, this fell by 0.2% to 3.8% so back close to the cycle low of 3.7% witnessed in Q4 2018. Equally, or perhaps even more significant, average hourly earnings rose by 0.4% (0.3% expected) too see annual growth lift to 3.4% from 3.2%. This compared to the 2018 increase of 3% and 2.6% in 2017. The Phillips Curve may be much flatter these days, but it is not completely flat, at least judging from these numbers.
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