The index of U.S. leading indicators rose in February by the most in 11 months, signaling the world’s largest economy will strengthen. Now THAT’s a good thing!
The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months increased 0.7 percent after a revised 0.2 percent gain in January that was less than initially reported,
the New York-based group said today. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 0.6 percent rise.
More hiring and a jobless rate that held at a three-year low last month may encourage Americans to boost their spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.
Strengthening demand may also drive production gains at factories, helping to sustain the expansion and allowing the U.S. to withstand higher oil costs.
Eight of the 10 indicators in the leading index contributed to the increase, led by fewer Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits and by a surge in stock prices.
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort
Bloomberg Econ. Expectations
House Price Index (MoM)
So, taking into consideration the inexact nature of the initial release of Jobless numbers, the Jobless numbers continue a good trend. The numbers are continuing in a downward trend, continuing to improve, though gradually.
Initial Jobless Claims in the U.S. declined to lowest level in four years, reinforcing signs the U.S. labor market is picking up. Jobless claims decreased by 5,000 to 348,000 in the week
ended March 17, the fewest since February 2008, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 46 economists in a Bloomberg News survey projected 350,000. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls and those getting extended payments also fell.
Dismissals have been waning and reports show companies are becoming more willing to expand workforces amid evidence sales are improving. Employment growth will help spur consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.
The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits fell by 9,000 in the week ended March 10 to 3.35 million. The continuing claims figure does not include the number of
Americans receiving extended benefits under federal programs.
Those who’ve used up their traditional benefits and are now collecting emergency and extended payments decreased by about 16,000 to 3.31 million in the week ended March 3.
The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits, which tends to track the jobless rate, dropped to 2.6 percent, the lowest level since September 2008
Initial Jobless Claims
Continuing Jobless Claims
And of course, as is the usual routine, they revised the prior periods Jobless numbers upward. Not exactly an exact survey.
Assistant State Treasurer
Chief Investment Officer
State of Louisiana
Department of the Treasury