Australia’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in over 13 years

Australia’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in more than 13 years, producing momentum that has persuaded one of the country’s main four banks to move up its forecast for the first raise in official interest rates. In December, the economy added 64,800 jobs, bringing the unemployment rate down to 4.2% from 4.6% in November, when a record number of additional posts were filled.

Annual inflation reaches new high in Eurozone

The UK and Eurozone data calendars for today are both light. In the UK, there is nothing noteworthy, whilst the Eurozone December CPI is an update that is unlikely to be altered from its initial reading. This resulted in annual inflation reaching 5%, a new high for the eurozone. However, ‘core’ inflation, at 2.6%, is still far lower.

Growing concerns over inflationary pressures in the US

Weekly jobless claims in the United States will be scrutinised for signs that unemployment has decreased further, amid growing concerns that a tight labour market may exacerbate inflationary pressures. Meanwhile, the January Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index, which fell much more than expected in New York, may provide fresh clues as to whether economic activity slowed substantially around the turn of the year.

Sterling is marginally higher against the US dollar but little changed against the euro.

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