|09-04-2014, 04:33 PM||#1|
Jobless claims unchanged, record exports send trade gap to lowest in six months
Filings for unemployment insurance benefits in the U.S. were slightly changed last week, showing employers had enough confidence in the economy to hang on to their staff.
The total number of people on the employment benefits rolls dropped to the lowest in over seven years.
Initial jobless claims climbed 4,000 to 302,000 in the week-ended August 30, according to data by the Labor Department on Thursday. Analysts by Bloomberg called for 300,000.
People continuing to receive jobless claims fell 64,00 to 2.46 million in the week-ended August 23, the fewest since June 2007. The four-week average of jobless claims climbed to 302,750 from 299,750 the week before.
Subdues firings usually set the stage for more acceleration in job growth. Analysts expected the economy added 220,000 workers to payrolls in August, the seventh straight month above the 200,000 mark, adding to the longest streak since 1997.
Another report released earlier showed private-sector employment added 204,000 jobs in August, healthily keeping the pace of job growth in 2014, suggesting that investors could be looking at cheerful numbers on Friday.
Export At Record
U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in July to the lowest in six months as exports jumped to a record.
Deficit fell 0.6% to $40.5 billion, the lowest since January, compared with a revised $40.8 billion in June that was lower than initially seen. Analysts by Bloomberg called for a widening to $42.4 billion.
Exports climbed 0.9% to a record high of $198 billion in July, on growing demand for U.S. goods, autos and petroleum products.
When adjusted for inflation, the deficit narrowed to $48.2-billion, the lowest since December 2013, from $48.9-billion in June, which could see economists raise their estimates for third quarter gross domestic product.
Imports rebounded 0.7 per cent in July to $238.6-billion after declining in June. The rebound in imports is a sign of underlying strength in domestic demand. The increase in imports was driven by food and autos, which both hit record highs.
Petroleum imports declined, which saw the petroleum deficit hitting its lowest level since May 2009. A domestic energy boom has seen the United States reduce its dependence on foreign oil.
The politically sensitive trade gap with China was the highest on record in July .
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