Jobless claims hit 344,00, unexpectedly rising for the second week in a row.
Consensus was for 320,00, down from revised 330,000.
A Labour Department official said claims tend to be more volatile around Easter.
The four-week moving averaged also claimed back to 320,000, an increase of 3,000.
The consensus seems to be that yesterday’s abysmal Q1 GDP figure was a blip. “Among the indicators suggesting much more strength than Q1 GDP is the ADP series; it was reported up a healthy 220K in April,” HFE’s Jim O’Sullivan writes in a note this morning. “We still forecast a 3.5% pace for real GDP in Q2. We also forecast a 185K rise in payrolls in the BLS report on Friday, a little below the 215K consensus but a solid number after allowing for the tendency recently for upward revisions to initially reported data.”
Here’s what the moving average has looked like until today.
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