Initial Jobless Claims totaled 460k, 5k above expectations and last week was revised up by 3k to 474k. The 4 week average rose to 457k from 454k. Continuing Claims fell by 49k and were 6k below estimates and Extended Benefits fell a net 3k. We hope that the drop in the amount of those collecting Extended Benefits is due to people finding new jobs but because new jobless extensions have not officially been passed by Congress (it’s in their new ‘stimulus package’), some are seeing benefits exhausted for now. With this said, initial claims remained elevated for an economy that is this far into a statistical recovery and points to a still uncertain labor market. Q1 GDP was revised to a 3% gain, down from the initial reading of 3.4% and the drop was led by a slightly smaller than expected gain in personal spending. Real final sales which takes out inventory impact, rose 1.4%, revised from a gain of 1.6%.
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