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The US private sector added 177,000 jobs last month, representing a fall from the March pace, but slightly beating expectations.

The April data released on Wednesday morning by payroll processor ADP compare to forecasts of 175,000, and a downwardly revised March reading of 255,000.

The data come ahead of the closely tracked monthly employment from the US labour department that is due for release on Friday morning. The March reading came in weaker than Wall Street economists had forecast, increasing the stakes for April’s report.

More broadly, US economic growth cooled in the first three months of this year, but economists are expecting a sharp rebound in the second quarter.

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