US economy boost after fewer sign on
FEWER than expected Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week and manufacturing activity hit an eight-month high in early November, hinting at some strength in the economy.
While the economy appeared to have momentum early in the fourth quarter, there was no sign of inflation picking up anytime soon. Other data yesterday showed wholesale prices fell for a second straight month in October.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, the Labour Department said. That was better than economists' forecasts for a drop to 335,000.
However, a public holiday last Monday could have contributed to some of the drop in applications, even though the department cited no special factors influencing the data.The four-week moving average for new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 6,750 to 338,500. (Reuters)