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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease to 297,000, CPI increases 0.3%

by Calculated Risk on 5/15/2014 08:30:00 AM

From the BLS on CPI:

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. ....

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in April ... The all items index increased 2.0 percent over the last 12 months; this compares to a 1.5 percent increase for the 12 months ending March, and is the largest 12-month increase since July. The index for all items less food and energy has increased 1.8 percent over the last 12 months.
The consensus was for a 0.3% increase in CPI in April and for core CPI to increase 0.1%. I'll have more later on inflation.

The DOL reports:
In the week ending May 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 297,000, a decrease of 24,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since May 12, 2007 when they were 297,000. The previous week's level was revised up by 2,000 from 319,000 to 321,000. The 4-week moving average was 323,250, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 500 from 324,750 to 325,250.

There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims.
The previous week was revised up from 319,000.

The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since January 1971.

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 323,250.

This was below the consensus forecast of 317,000.  The 4-week average is close to normal levels for an expansion.