Thursday, February 28, 2013

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease to 344,000

by Bill McBride on 2/28/2013 08:30:00 AM

Note: Q4 GDP growth was revised up from slightly negative to slightly positive. From the BEA:

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 ... In the advance estimate, real GDP declined 0.1 percent.
I'll have more on GDP later.

The DOL reports:
In the week ending February 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 344,000, a decrease of 22,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 366,000. The 4-week moving average was 355,000, a decrease of 6,750 from the previous week's revised average of 361,750.
The previous week was revised up from 362,000.

The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since January 2000.

Click on graph for larger image.

The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decreased to 355,000 - just above the lowest 4-week average since the recession.

Weekly claims were below the 360,000 consensus forecast.

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