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US: 2018 is on course to be the best year for job creation since 2015 - ING

"2018 is on course to be the best year for job creation since 2015. On average 206,000 jobs were added in each of the first 11 months of 2018 versus the 182,000 average for 2017 as a whole and the 195,000 average for 2016. However, we think 2019 will see slower growth with the December 2018 report offering a prelude for this," note ING analysts.

Key quotes

"What it means for the Federal Reserve: Financial markets are clearly nervous about the US’ economic prospects with the government shutdown and clear disagreements between the President and the Federal Reserve on policy direction adding to the unease. However, business surveys remain in decent shape with any slowdown in jobs growth more due to a lack of available workers than any cut backs to business expansion plans - at this stage."

"The positive from this is that competition for workers will advantage employees through higher wages and benefit packages, which should be supportive for confidence and spending. This will also add to inflationary pressures in the economy and will keep the Federal Reserve on course to raise interest rates further in 2019. However, officials will tread a more cautious path with intensifying economic headwinds coupled with the fact the Fed is also running down its balance sheet meaning we expect two 25bp rate hikes in 2019 versus the four experienced in 2018."

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