Australiaunexpectedly added workers last month, capping the best January-to-May period of hiring in five years and prompting traders to pare bets on interest-rate cuts as the local dollar stages its strongest rally this year.
The number of people employed rose by 38,900 in May, after a revised 7,000 gain in April that was lower than previously reported, the statistics bureau said in Sydney today. The median estimate was for no change in employment in a Bloomberg News survey of 23 economists. Thejobless rate rose to 5.1 percent from a revised 5 percent in April as participation increased.
The local currency jumped 2.5 percent this week as the jobs data and a gross domestic product report showing the economy expanded 1.3 percent last quarter, more than twice the level forecast, underscore the nation’s resource-fueled growth. Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens cut interest rates by 75 basis points in the past two meetings, to 3.5 percent, to shore up the economy as the outlook in Europe andChina deteriorates.
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