US jobs growth beats forecasts in July

The US economy added a stronger-than-expected 255,000 jobs in July, fuelling speculation that interest rates could rise before the end of the year.

The figure was below June's upwardly revised figure of 292,000 jobs, but was far higher than analysts' forecasts of between 175,000 and 180,000.

The US unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9%.

Dennis de Jong from UFX.com said July's figure reveals a "strong but not spectacular US economy".

He said the number "represents more of a return to the form of the first six months of the year".

The US Fed recently signalled that it was on course to increase interest rates this year as "near-term risks" such slowing employment receded.

However, subsequent data revealed that the US economy grew at a slower pace than expected in the second quarter of the year.

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