Simultaneously-released data from the Labor Department and the Commerce Department, respectively, may give the Federal Reserve reason to delay an interest rate rise this September, as many analysts were predicting. The labor force participation rate is down to its lowest level since 1977, primarily due to a 432,000 reduction in the number of people either in employment or actively seeking work during the month of June. This is coupled with a contraction in factory sales of 1% during May – that followed on from a 0.7% decrease in April.
Therefore, with both labor force participation and factory sales actually contracting, such economic data may ease the pressure on the Federal Reserve when it comes to September. Wilmington Trust manager, Wilmer Stith, has said, “If anything, it buys the Fed a little more time before the first rate hike. It puts September a little more in question.”
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