Laying the groundwork for a US rate rise

Despite July's non-farm payrolls missing expectations, and a slight uptick in the unemployment rate, the Federal Reserve will find it difficult to justify keeping rates near zero for much longer.

The US labour market continued to improve during July but there remains significant spare capacity across the economy. Nevertheless, it is time that the Federal Reserve began to lay the groundwork for its next policy move, signalling to the market that rates might rise earlier next year than is commonly expected.

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