## Main equity markets in 2014 (in euro)
## Strong US growth figure fed rate hike expectations
## Labour market report somewhat weaker than expected
It was therefore some kind of relief that on Friday the labour market report came in somewhat softer than expected. Payrolls rose by 209,000 in July which was below the consensus estimate of 230,000. Moreover, the unemployment rate did not fall further but actually rose to 6.2% from 6.1%. Part of this is probably due to the rise in the participation rate to 62,9%, indicating previously disenfranchised workers returned to the labour market in search of a job.
All in all the July figures were a tad disappointing, but labour market slack continues to shrink and the improving growth outlook will keep that trend in place. Together with the rise in consumer confidence and the encouraging consumption component in the GDP number – personal consumption rose 2.5% in the second quarter – this bodes well for the US consumer, the most important actor in the US economy.