Economic Statistics for 7 Feb 13
Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:
Initial jobless claims fell 5,000 to 366,000, while the 4-week average fell 2,250 to 350,500. Continuing claims rose 8,000 to 3.224 million.
Monthly chain store sales are being reported today, with a generally positive trend, and some chains with very strong results. The signs are pointing to a 0.5% overall increase in ex-auto, ex-gas sales for the government’s retails sales report for January.
Non-farm business productivity fell a greater than expected -2.0% in the 4th quarter of 2012, while unit labor costs rose 4.5%. Business output declined to a 0.1% annualized rate from Q3’s 4.7%, while hours worked rose 2.2$. Unit labor costs were boosted by a 2.4% increase in compensation costs. Overall, this is a very disappointing report.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose almost a point to -36.3 in the latest week.