Unemployment claims fall to 15-year low. It looks like the downturn in the oil and gas industry had not effect on unemployment numbers. Fascinating. The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits ticked lower last week, pushing down the four-week average of applications to its lowest level since April 2000.
Weekly applications fell 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 264,000 last week. That is just above a 15-year low reached three weeks ago. The average, a less volatile figure, dropped 7,750 to 271,750, the lowest in 15 years.The AP has almost the identical story. Both stories also include this little bit of fanciful reporting:
The economy likely shrank in the first three months of the year. Economists blame a strong dollar, low oil prices that triggered cutbacks at oil and gas companies, and harsh winter weather that discouraged spending. A stronger dollar makes U.S. exports overseas more expensive, restraining sales.
Most analysts predict the economy is expanding in the April-June quarter, though the bounce-back hasn't been as strong as many had hoped.GDPNow's latest forecast released May 13, 2015:
The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2015 was 0.7 percent on May 13, down slightly from 0.8 percent on May 5. The nowcast for second-quarter real consumer spending growth ticked down 0.1 percentage point to 2.6 percent following this morning's retail sales report.Market: DOW futures are up over a 100 points.
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Great story on coal in India in today's Wall Street Journal. Link here.