U.S. job growth slowed in November and monthly wages increased less than expected, suggesting some moderation in economic activity that could support expectations of fewer interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve in 2019.

The Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report on Friday came against a backdrop of a steep sell-off on Wall Street and a partial inversion of the U.S. yield curve, which have stoked fears of a recession.

“This is still a solid gain that suggests economic growth is gradually slowing back toward its potential pace,” said Paul Ashworth, chief economist at Capital Economics in Toronto. “There is nothing here to suggest the economy is suffering a more sudden downturn.”

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