Unemployment claims data deteriorate sharply
In the week ending April 30, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 474,000, an increase of 43,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 431,000. The 4-week moving average was 431,250, an increase of 22,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 409,000.
This represents a significant deterioration in the jobless claims data. The increase was so sharp in the week’s data that I have to imagine it could be a statistical anomaly. Nevertheless, the 4-week moving average has increased markedly since finding a bottom below 400,000 in February. Levels are well off the numbers from one year ago.
Data have been weak all around, not just in the US but globally. Jean-Claude Trichet was less hawkish than anticipated at this morning’s ECB press conference. The data flow may have something to do with this. Tomorrow’s employment situation summary will take on more importance given these numbers.