Initial jobless claims rose to 219k from 211k last week and that was 7k more than expected. As a print of 217k dropped out, the 4 week average was little changed at 210k vs 209k. Continuing claims, delayed by a week, fell by 9k. Bottom line, the pace of firing’s remains low and we can only hope it stays that way as the US potentially now enters the eye of the virus hysteria storm. I say hysteria because the emotions and fears will FAR outpace the reality but the economic result is still real and painful.
4 WEEK AVG in CLAIMS
Core durable goods orders for January, dated data of course in light of everything going on, surprised to the upside with a 1.1% m/o/m gain vs the estimate of up .1% and December was revised up by 3 tenths. I wonder whether some was some pent up spending upon the signing of the trade deal. Capital spending (not included here is spending on software and some other R&D) though remains modest as it was up just 1.4% y/o/y. Versus last year orders for electrical equipment and computers/electronics rose, offsetting weakness in the industrial world of machinery and metals. Core shipments, plugged into GDP, also exceeded expectations which would lead to a slight upward revision to Q1 GDP which is right now a complete mystery.
Bottom line, this number at least tells us where things stood before the virus outbreak but assume that many spending decisions are now frozen thus making it irrelevant.
CORE DURABLE GOODS ORDERS y/o/y