Initial Jobless Claims surprised to the downside again to 364k, 16k less than expected and down from 368k last week (revised up by 2k). It’s at the lowest level since Apr ’08 and the 4 week avg fell to 380k from 388k. Continuing Claims fell by 79k and Extended Benefits were down by a net 136k. Bottom line, the downward trend in initial filings over the past three weeks is a definite positive in terms of firings while we still await the big jumps in hiring’s. Due to what I believe will be a deep, not mild, recession in Europe, the pace of hiring’s in 2012 will likely still be mediocre. While old news, Q3 GDP was revised lower to a gain of 1.8% from 2.0%, led by a downward revision to Personal Consumption which grew at the 2nd slowest rate since Q4 ’09.
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