Free Markets, Free People
Economic Statistics for 11 Oct 12
The following US economic statistics were announced today:
The US trade balance worsened in August, as the trade deficit rose to $–44.2 billion, on declining exports due to economic weakness in both Asia and Europe.
Initial jobless claims fell unexpectedly and steeply, by 28,000, to 339,000, perhaps due to some odd seasonal adjustment factors this week. The four-week average is down 11,500 to 364,000, while continuing claims fell 15,000 to 3.273 million. This week’s level of 339,000 is the lowest of the recovery. But, as I said, there are some odd seasonal factors in play this week, so we’ll need to wait for the coming weeks’ reports to see if this low level is confirmed, or due for a big revision. UPDATE: As it turns out, California didn’t report any of its quarterly claims numbers. The seasonal adjustment was expecting a bump in those numbers, and that bump wasn’t there without the CA numbers. So, it’s thrown everything higgledy-piggledy.
Import prices rose 1.1% in August, while export prices rose 0.8%. On a year-over-basis, import prices fell –0.6%, while export prices fell –0.5%.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped 1.4 points to -38.5.