The Daily Update – NFP / May reshuffle

Happy New Year.

Last Friday we had the first Non-Farm Payroll figures released for 2018. The headline figure of 148k was lower than the market expectation of 190k. The previous month’s figure was revised higher at 252k from 228k. The unemployment rate was unchanged, at 4.1% along with the average hourly earnings at 2.5%, both in line with expectations. The labour force participation rate continues to stand at 62.7%. At time of writing, the probability of a rate hike in Q1’18 stands at just below 76%.

One person that will be hoping that 2018 brings better fortunes than the previous 12 months is British Prime Minister Theresa May. After running what some perceive as the worst electoral campaign in living memory, May is under pressure both domestically and from across the channel to deliver the UK’s exit from the EU. After losing her second in command, Damian Green, who was forced to quit over misleading statements concerning images found on his computer, May announced over the weekend, ‘Obviously, Damian Green’s departure before Christmas means that some changes do have to be made, and I will be making some changes’.

One person who looks to be safe in the imminent reshuffle is foreign minister Boris Johnson along with May’s finance minister Philip Hammond. It has been reported that one of the main aims of any reshuffle would be to bring in more women, which at the moment only make up approximately 25% of the cabinet.

The area that might be more problematic for the Prime Minister might be keeping the balance between Brexit enthusiasts and sceptics. With the tough Brexit negotiations set to continue until the final divorce happens at the end March 2018, this is one area May cannot afford to take her eye off.

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