Initially jobless claims is one of our most favourite economic indicators.
It’s also a favoured indicator of High Frequency Economics’ Jim O’Sullivan, one of the most accurate economists on Wall Street right now.
“Regular readers know that we view the jobless claims series as a key momentum indicator,” said O’Sullivan in his latest note to clients. “Claims have proven themselves again this year, correctly signaling continued improvement in net employment growth, not just the pace of layoffs.”
So we were taken aback by the title of his note: “Ignore Jobless Claims This Week.” Here’s O’Sullivan:
…Of course, individual weekly readings can be volatile and misleading. This is likely to be one of those weeks, due to the challenge of seasonally adjusting for annual plant shutdowns in the auto industry. The bias has generally been downward in the first week of the annual shutdowns in recent years, with the seasonal factors over-adjusting for shutdown-related filings. However, the seasonal factors look much less aggressive this year, raising the possibility that seasonally adjusted claims will be artificially high. Either way, this week’s data should probably be discounted.
So, in an otherwise quiet week for economic data, one of the few reports we were looking forward to this week will probably have to be ignored.
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