Keyword Site Search

Barenbrug USA USA Vinyl Stone Paving USA
Custom Canopies Performance Planning Sys.
Illusions Vinyl Fence Rainwater Collection
Spectra Lighting Fiberweb

Jobless Claims in U.S. Decrease

Fewer Americans than forecast sought jobless benefits and consumer confidence climbed, giving the world's largest economy a boost heading into 2012.

The employment picture continued its improvement in the. New jobless claims declined, falling to 364,000, the lowest level since April 2008, the Labor Department said.

The number of initial unemployment claims was down from the previous week's revised figure of 368,000. The four-week average of 380,250 is below the 400,000 figure that economists say is key to cutting into the unemployment rate.

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index improved to minus 45 in the period ended Dec. 18 from a reading of minus 49.9 the prior week, marking the biggest seven-day gain since January.

A decline in firings and the cheapest gasoline prices since February helped revive retail sales during the busiest shopping season of the year. A stronger consumer, whose spending accounts for 70 percent of the economy, raises the odds the U.S. can ride out the debt crisis in Europe or failure by Congress to extend tax cuts.

''Spending has looked pretty good so far, and continued job and income growth will help maintain that,'' said Samuel Coffin, an economist at UBS Securities LLC in New York. ''At some point, events in Europe are likely to have some effect on activity, but we're heading into that headwind with a lot of momentum.''

The median forecast of 45 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected an increase in jobless claims to 380,000. Estimates ranged from 355,000 to 400,000. The number of applications has dropped by 40,000 over the past three weeks.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits fell by 79,000 in the week ended Dec. 10 to 3.55 million, the lowest since September 2008.

- Courtesy of Bloomberg News

Related Stories

December 10, 2019, 7:41 pm PDT

Website problems, report a bug.
Copyright © 2019 Landscape Communications Inc.
Privacy Policy