Jobless Claims And Durable Goods Orders Rise: A Mixed Message?
By James Picerno: Initial jobless claims increased last week, but so did new orders for durable goods in December. It's a mixed bag of news, but a closer look suggests that the economy's capacity for growth continues to bubble. Let's start with jobless claims. Last week's sizable 21,000 increase to a seasonally adjusted 377,000 is disappointing, but it's not all that surprising. After the previous week's dramatic fall to depths unseen in nearly four years, some backing and filling is normal. New filings for jobless benefits is a valuable leading indicator, but it's quite volatile in the short term and so the longer-run trend is a far-superior measure for this series. By that standard, the decline in new claims appears to be intact, as the chart below shows. For the moment, last week's rise appears to be nothing more than the usual ebb and flow in a generally falling trendComplete Story »