The US Bureau of Labor Statistics is forecast to report the addition of 190,000 new jobs last month, while the unemployment rate is expected to edge lower to 4.70% from 4.80%. Wages are also likely to rise 0.30%, a pace higher than the prior month’s 0.10%.
The Federal Reserve will be closely monitoring the labor figures for further reassurance on the strength of the US economy. The past week has seen expectations for a rate hike during the Central Bank’s March 14-15 gathering skyrocket on the back of a string of better-than-expected data points, including the ISM and ADP numbers.
The CME Group’s Federal Funds futures that tracks market expectation for changes in monetary policy, is showing a 90.00% likelihood of a 0.25% increase in the benchmark rate next week.
While most US stock index futures ended Thursday flat, Nasdaq futures have managed to gain ground, trending back towards record highs.