Thursday, July 23, 2009

Filings for Initial Unemployment Claims (Four-week Average) Fall to Six-Month Low, Lowest Since Jan.

WASHINGTON -- The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for state jobless benefits began climbing back up last week, confirming that the dramatic declines reported earlier this month weren't necessarily signs of an economic revival. Initial claims for jobless benefits rose by 30,000 to 554,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis in the week ended July 18, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The four-week average of new claims, which aims to smooth volatility in the data, fell by 19,000 to 566,000, the lowest level since Jan. 24. The tally of continuing claims -- those drawn by workers for more than one week -- fell by 88,000 during the week ended July 11 to 6,225,000, the lowest level since April 11.

MP: The good news is that the four-week average of new claims fell to a six-month low (see chart above), so there could be an economic revivial after all.

11 Comments:

At 7/23/2009 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, where have all the green-shoot-denying doom-and-gloomers been the past few days?

Maybe they're too stunned by both today's unemployment AND housing data:

"June existing home sales rise by 3.6 percent - AP

"Signaling a housing recovery is under way in much of the country, sales of previously occupied homes rose for the third month in a row in June.

"The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that home sales rose 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million last month, from a downwardly revised pace of 4.72 million in May. Home sales haven't risen for three straight months since early 2004, during the housing boom.

"'The housing market is healing,' said Lawrence Yun, the group's chief economist.

"Prices, however, are expected to keep falling well into next year because of a backlog of foreclosures that have yet to come on to the market. The median sales price was $181,800 in June, down 15 percent from year-ago levels but up slightly from $174,700 in May.

"It was the highest level of sales since last October and beat economists' expectations. Sales had been expected to rise to an annual pace of 4.84 million units, according to Thomson Reuters.

"The inventory of unsold homes on the market fell to 3.8 million. That's a 9.4-month supply at the current sales pace and another important sign of a recovery. When the inventory level falls to about 7 months, prices should begin to stabilize, Yun said.

"Sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties made up about a third of all transactions last month, down from nearly half earlier this year.

 
At 7/23/2009 10:14 AM, Blogger Robert Miller said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/23/2009 10:27 AM, Blogger 1 said...

"Hey, where have all the green-shoot-denying doom-and-gloomers been the past few days?"...

Not to worry old son, if the GREEN SHOOT KILLERS have their way we'll be seeing dead and dying shoots in the not to distant future...

 
At 7/23/2009 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the latest on the Baltic Dry Index.

I wouldn't say it has been "down steadily" but it has dropped over 880 points since the June 3 peak which was less than a week after Dr. Perry last posted about it on May 27.

Here is a cool picture of docked container ships off the Singapore coast. The BDI operates under the firm assumption that cargo ship supply is "tight and inelastic". With 80% of Singapore's container ships idle, we see this is not the case.

Large shipments of iron ore to China earlier this year pumped up the BDI. That's over now and the index is falling.

 
At 7/23/2009 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see a definite pattern here and it has nothing to do with economics.

We all see it.

 
At 7/23/2009 12:47 PM, Blogger QT said...

Anon. 11:06,

With 80% of Singapore's container ships idle, we see this is not the case.

From your Google link: "The world's busiest port for container traffic, Singapore saw its year-over-year volume drop by 19.6 percent in January 2009, followed by a 19.8 percent drop in February. As of mid-March 2009, 11.3 percent of the world's shipping capacity, sat idle, a record."

"Globally, bulk shipping rates have dropped more than 80 percent in the past year on weak demand"

That is the price to ship goods not the percentage of Singapore ships idling in the harbour. Mind the fine print!

 
At 7/23/2009 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't misreading it QT. I had a different link which talked about the idling of 80% of the Singapore based fleet of container ships.

I can't find it now. I've been googling and binging and yahooing for hours but I swear I saw it.

The original source could be wrong. If I find then I will post.

 
At 7/23/2009 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, where have all the green-shoot-denying doom-and-gloomers been the past few days?

Only 107000 workers moved from regular unemployment benefits to extended benefits (EUC) last week. Yippee.

Housing sales. Break out the champagne. Not.

Global industrial production is tracking GD 1.0 (the "Great Depression").

UPS says there ain't no visibility (otherwise known as the green shoots figmentation of the mind).

Who are ya gonna believe? Your own eyes or a cherry perry picking academic economist.

Many are on the inventory restocking meme for the second half recovery. The business inventory/sales ratio belittles them.

 
At 7/23/2009 6:30 PM, Blogger Robert Miller said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/23/2009 8:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The list is growing.

The architecture billings index is still probing footings since they can't find solid ground.

The lodging industry still sucks.

Hey Perry. They a gonna drill, drill, drill off the beaches of Santa Barbara. That otta solve the California budgetary sink hole. No fears, Bernanke and Geithner will bail out the states with additional monetary and fiscal stimulus beyond modern GD 1.0 imagination.

Well the greenshoot crowd can tend to the rise in the trucking index in May but the railroad car loadings (Warren Buffett's favorite index) still shows significant declines in July.

 
At 7/24/2009 12:30 PM, Blogger Robert Miller said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 

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