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MNI DATA FORECASTS: EZ Member State Inflation In Focus
MNI DATA ANALYSIS: US Jobless Claims Plunge To 209,000>
--Initial Claims Level Lowest Since December 6, 1969
--Initial Claims Four-Wk Average -2,250 To 229,250 Following Five Gains
--March Durable Goods Orders Jump 2.6%; Ex-Transport Flat
By Kevin Kastner, Sara Haire and Holly Stokes
WASHINGTON (MNI) - Initial claims U.S. state unemployment benefits
fell by 24,000 to 209,000 in the April 21 week, well below the 231,000
level expected by analysts in an MNI survey and the lowest level since
the December 6, 1969 week, data released by the Labor Department
In data released at the same time, the value of U.S. durable goods
new orders rose by 2.6% in March, much faster than the 1.7% increase
expected by analysts in an MNI survey. Transportation orders rose 7.6%,
but new orders excluding transportation orders were flat, according to
data from the Commerce Department.
The soft reading for new orders excluding transportation was below
the 0.5% gain expected and reflected offsetting movements in the
categories. Orders excluding transportation have been on a general upward
trend in recent months, so this pause is not a cause for concern.
--CLAIMS FOUR-WEEK AVERAGE DIPS
The four-week moving average for initial claims, which tends to be
a better measure of the underlying trend of the data, fell by 2,250 to
229,250 in the April 21 week after rising in the previous five weeks.
If the number of headline claims does not change next week and
there are no revisions to data from the past four weeks, the four-week
average will fall an additional 8,250 as the 242,000 level in the March
31 week rolls out of the calculation.
Seasonal adjustment factors had expected a decrease of 1.4%, or
3,259, in unadjusted claims. Instead, unadjusted claims fell by 26,218
(11.6%) to 199,816. The current week's level was well below the 241,611
level in the comparable week a year ago.
The only states where claims were estimated were Colorado and
Maine. However, the claims taking procedures in the Virgin Islands and
Puerto Rico have still not returned to normal.
--CONTINUING CLAIMS FALL FURTHER
The level of continuing claims fell by 29,000 to 1.837 million in
the April 14 employment survey week after falling by 12,000 in the
previous week. Continuing claims were at a level of 1.876 million in the
March 17 employment survey week, so the resulting 39,000 decrease is a
positive sign for April payrolls when they are released next week.
Before seasonal adjustment, continuing claims fell by 61,686 to
1.868 million, well below the 2.012 million level seen in the comparable
week last year.
The four-week average for continuing claims, a more reliable
measure when the continuing claims are rapidly moving week-to-week, fell
by 9,750 to 1.850 million.
The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate held steady at
1.3% in the April 14 week, down from 1.4% in the same week a year
The unemployment rate among the insured labor force is well below
that reported monthly by the Labor Department because claims are
approved for the most part only for job losers, not the job leavers and
labor force reentrants included in the monthly report.
--AIRCRAFT ORDERS SURGE
Nondefense aircraft and parts new orders posted a second straight
double-digit gain in March, rising 44.5% after a 39.1% gain in February.
Defense aircraft and parts fell 9.4% after a 29.2% increase in February.
Motor vehicles orders posted a 0.1% increase. In addition,
transportation orders excluding motor vehicles and aircraft rose by 2.7%
following a 12.0% increase in the previous month, according to an MNI
Nondefense capital goods new orders rose by 6.0%, but were down
0.1% excluding civilian aircraft.
--SHIPMENTS, INVENTORIES TICK UP
Durable goods shipments rose by 0.3% in March, with nondefense
capital goods shipments rising 2.2%, but down 0.7% excluding civilian
aircraft shipments, according to an MNI calculation.
Durable goods inventories were up 0.1% in the month, while
unfilled orders posted a 0.8% increase.
** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **
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