INITIAL JOBLESS CLAIMS JUMP TO 439 THOUSAND!!! SUPERSTORM SANDY NEW SCAPEGOAT.
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The cost of living rose in October at the slowest pace in three months, a sign U.S. inflation is in check. The 0.1 percent increase in the consumer-price index
followed a 0.6 percent gain the prior month. The median estimate of 83 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.1 percent rise. The so-called core measure, which excludes more volatile food and energy costs, climbed 0.2 percent, more than projected, reflected rising rents and clothing costs.
Manufacturing in the New York region contracted for a fourth straight month in November as SuperStorm Sandy knocked out electrical power and limited activity.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index was minus 5.2 this month after minus 6.2 in October. The median forecast of 55 economists in a Bloomberg survey called for minus 8. Readings of less than zero signal contraction in New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut. Power outages and destruction in New Jersey and New York from Sandy placed a temporary burden on the region’s factories, which have been challenged by a recession in Europe and slower Asian economies. Companies have limited orders to factories as they pull back on equipment investment on concern lawmakers will fail to avoid the fiscal cliff -- a package of automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect early next year.
More Americans than forecast submitted claims for unemployment insurance last week as SuperStorm Sandy also wreaked havoc on the job market. Applications for jobless benefits surged by 78,000 to 439,000 in the week ended Nov. 10, the most since April 2011. Several states said the increase was due to the storm that hit the Northeastern part of the U.S. in late October, a Labor Department spokesman said as the data were released to the press. The extent of the damage means it may take weeks for the underlying trend in firings to again become clear. Before the storm, the labor market was gaining momentum even as year-end domestic fiscal policy uncertainties raised concern among businesses.