Steady US job figures could end the era of ultra-low interest rates

The Federal Reserve looks likely to decide that the time is right for a rate rise, almost seven years to the day since Lehman Brothers’ collapse

The symbolism would be perfect. When the Federal Reserve announces its decision on US interest rates on 17 September it will be almost seven years to the day since Lehman Brothers went bust. That was the moment when the financial crisis went nuclear, ushering in the era of ultra-low interest rates.

That era now looks to be coming to an end. The latest set of US unemployment figures were unspectacular, and would have been seen as modest in previous economic cycles. The increase in non-farm payrolls was 10,000 smaller than Wall Street had been expecting.

Related: Unemployment rate remains steady at 5.3% as US economy adds 215,000 jobs

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