Initial jobless claims totaled 260k, 5k less than expected and down from 272k last week. Again, claims data from Texas, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and other US Virgin Islands were impacted by the hurricanes. Non seasonally adjusted, claims fell by 9k in FL, GA and TX. Smoothing the data out puts the 4 week average at 268k vs 278k last week and vs 269k in the week before. Continuing claims, delayed by a week, rose by 2k. Bottom line, putting aside the impacted areas, the level of firing’s remain modest.
The August trade deficit was $42.4b, about in line with the forecast of $42.7b (we saw the goods deficit last week) and down from $43.6b in July. Exports were up by .4% m/o/m to the most since December 2014 as the weaker dollar and better demand from overseas helped. Imports were down by .1% m/o/m, modest of course but lower for a 4th straight month, albeit modestly and could be FX related in part. I don’t expect much of a change in Q3 GDP estimates after seeing this number which is never market moving because it’s always somewhat dated.