Jobless claims up only slightly; spending, incomes up
Orders for longtime items such as washing machines dropped in October
New claims for jobless benefits rose only slightly for the first in two
months of steady declines, but were within expectations. Claims remained
below the key 400,000 mark, government data showed this week. Consumer
spending was raised a notch in October and incomes increased by a faster
pace. Orders for such long-lasting products such as washing machines,
automobiles and aircraft fell for the second straight month in October.
Orders for such long-lasting products such as washing machines, automobiles and aircraft fell for the second straight month in October.
A decline in inventories in the July-September quarter could also mean businesses will have to rebuild inventories in the fourth quarter which could very well propel growth.
This could steer away the U.S. from recession, which is expected in the euro zone. Economists still see a risk of a U.S. recession next year, especially if lawmakers allow extended unemployment benefits and a payroll tax cut to expire at the end of 2011.
The Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits climbed to a seasonally adjusted 393,000 from an upwardly revised 391,000 in the prior week.
According to Reuters, economists had forecast claims rising to 390,000 from the previously reported 388,000. The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, fell 3,250 to 394,250, the lowest since April.
The Commerce Department said orders for durable goods fell 0.7 percent in January following a September decline of 1.5 percent. Orders for core capital goods, considered a good proxy for business investment spending, dropped 1.8 percent, the biggest decline since a 4.8 percent fall in January.
In the meantime, manufacturing has been one of the strongest sectors in the economy in the sluggish recovery. This sector slowed this year as consumer demand faltered and auto factories had trouble getting parts following the March natural disasters in Japan.
The Commerce Department also reported that spending increased 0.1 percent last month, the poorest gain in four months. But incomes increased 0.4 percent, the best showing since March. Private wages and salaries drove the income gain.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Growth, economy, jobless claims, factories
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