Claims, PPI data

Initial Claims totaled 637k, 27k more than expected and up from a
revised 605k last week and Continuing Claims rose 202k from last week
and was 160k higher than expected. The Labor Dept is blaming the auto
industry for the jump in initial claims as it was those auto producing
states that saw the biggest rise. Chrysler has halted all production and
GM has trimmed their own. Even so, the rise in continuing claims is
evidence of the still reluctance on the part of business to hire but the
level of firing has stabilized.

Apr PPI rose .3% headline, .1% more than expected while the
core was in line, up .1%. Y/o/Y headline was down 3.7% but
up 3.4% at the core. Inflation in the pipeline as measured by
intermediate goods remained negative but by a lesser amount. Crude
goods, the 1st stage of production, saw a headline gain of 3%, due to
jumps in both food and energy. So the commodity disinflation story, as
measured by govt price data, has likely ended.

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