Time: 3:20 p.m. CEST
Labor strength in America continued in December, as the data of the Labor Department said on December 8. The number of Americans that applied for unemployment benefits fell from a five-month high last week. The signs of strengthening economy could push the Federal Reserve “to hike interest rates next week,” Reuters says. Labor Department revised the data of prior week and “Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 258,000 for the week ended December 3,” Reuters published.
The labor market is near full employment, with the government reporting last week that the unemployment rate fell to a nine-year low of 4.6 percent in November amid solid increases in non-farm payrolls. The Fed’s policy-setting committee meets next Tuesday and Wednesday. Economists expect the U.S. central bank to increase borrowing costs by at least 25 basis points at that meeting. The Fed raised its benchmark overnight interest rate last December for the first time in nearly a decade.