Goldman Sachs slashes August payroll forecast

2 September 2011

The August payroll forecast at Goldman Sachs Group has been slashed due to the sluggish pace of hiring.

Economists at the lender, which describes its workers as its greatest asset, revealed the figure had been cut to a 25,000 gain - half the sum previously predicted.

Jan Hatzius, one of the analysts concerned, said: "The main reason is the accumulation of evidence of weak hiring in late July and August. The recent pickup in layoff announcements is a concern."

A number of studies of late have hinted at weak employment figures, including the Institute for Supply Management's factory index, the ADP Employer Services report and the Conference Board's consumer confidence survey.

Such a cut in the forecast, however, lies in contrast to that recently predicted by Moody's, which increased its estimate from a 30,000 to a 50,000 gain.

The forecast for the unemployment rate, on the other hand, remained unchanged and continues to stand at 9.1 per cent.

By Tony Aynsley

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