US economic data

U.S. employers maintained a strong pace of hiring in October and boosted wages for workers, which could effectively seal the case for a December interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 161,000 jobs last month amid gains in construction, healthcare and professional and business services, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Adding to the report’s strong tone, August and September data was revised to show 44,000 more jobs created than previously reported. Average hourly earnings increased 10 cents in October. As a result, the year-on-year gain in wages last month was the largest in nearly 7-1/2 years.

The U.S. trade deficit fell to a more than 1-1/2 year low in September amid rising exports, but a slump in imports pointed to slowing domestic demand.

The Commerce Department said on Friday the trade gap narrowed 9.9 percent to $36.4 billion, the smallest since February 2015. August’s trade deficit was revised slightly down to $40.5 billion.


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