US first-time jobless claims drops, consumer spending climbs

US initial jobless claims fell 3,000 amid last week’s rising consumer spending , according federal reports released Thursday. Initial claims fell 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 420,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday, on par with analysts’ expectations.

The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly claims figures, rose to 426,000 last week from 423,500, today’s data showed.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits declined by 103, 000 in the week ended December 11. They were forecasted to fall to 4.1 million.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed spending rose for the fifth consecutive month, up 0.4 percent after increasing by an upwardly revised 0.7 percent in October.

Economists had expected consumer spending to rise 0.5 percent after a 0.4-percent-gain in October. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of the overall economic activity in the US.

The rise in spending was bolstered by a 0.3-percent-rise in incomes for November, which was just ahead of the 0.2-percent-rise forecast by economists. The report added that consumers also used saving to fund purchases in November.

Meanwhile, the saving rate slipped to 5.3 percent last month, the smallest since March, from 5.4 percent in October. Savings dropped to USD 614.8 billion, the lowest level since March.

In another report, the Commerce Department said orders for long-lasting manufactured goods, excluding transportation, increased 2.4 percent, the largest increase since March, after a 1.9 percent drop in October.

But overall orders dropped by a larger-than-expected 1.3 percent last month, dragged down by a plunge in bookings for civilian aircraft and motor vehicles.


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KUNA

KUNA is the Kuwait News Agency

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