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jAZ
09-09-2004, 11:37 AM
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=businessNews&storyID=6193568

Jobless Claims Slump, Import Prices Jump
Thu Sep 9, 2004 09:37 AM ET

By Alister Bull
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. initial jobless claims slumped last week but the outcome was heavily influenced by weather, while soaring petroleum prices in August powered the cost of imports to an 18-month high.

The dollar strengthened slightly against the euro after the data release although benchmark U.S. 10-year government bond prices slipped.

First-time claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 44,000 to 319,000 in the week ended Sept. 4 from 363,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

It was the steepest weekly decline since a 77,000 plunge in the week ended Dec. 8, 2001, three months after the Sept. 11 attacks. A Labor Department analyst said the drop partly reflected a fall in claims from Florida after a surge in the previous week because of Hurricane Charley.

Wall Street had forecast a substantial fall in claims to 346,000 from the originally reported 362,000 in the previous week.

"We know last week's number was inflated due to the hurricane. The four-week moving average looks good, It suggests that things are improving a bit. That's consistent with the August employment report. We are going to see moderate improvement in September," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's Ratings Service.

Thousands of workers were laid off when the storm hit Florida and temporarily shut down many businesses. The Labor Department official said claims the previous week from Florida, which were over 17,000, had been higher than usual and have now subsided to a more normal level.

In addition, the Labor Day public holiday on Monday may have affected seasonal adjustment factors, the analyst said.

The four-week moving average of filings, which smoothes weekly fluctuations, fell 3,750 to 339,250.

Employment has been a weak spot for the American economy, which grew strongly last year without creating much work, but the picture brightened in August when payrolls grew 144,000.

IMPORT PAIN

In a separate report, the Labor Department reported sharply higher import prices, powered by soaring petroleum costs, suggesting inflation pressures may be building even though the pass-through to consumers remains subdued.

Import prices rose 1.7 percent last month, the largest monthly increase since a matching jump in February 2003.

Wall Street had forecast a milder 0.7 percent advance.

The cost of petroleum products increased 9.6 percent in the month, while nonpetroleum import prices increased 0.4 percent.

On a year-on-year basis, import prices were up 7.2 percent in August while imports excluding petroleum rose 3.2 percent.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on Wednesday blamed oil for the recent slowdown in U.S. economic growth after prices reached almost $50 per barrel last month. Thursday's data showed imported petroleum prices are up 40.4 percent from a year earlier.

But some analysts were not unduly worried by the import price news because consumer inflation remained mute.

"On import prices, I don't think the markets are going to focus on this too much. We heard (what) Greenspan said yesterday about lower inflation expectations. PPI and CPI should be benign," said Tim Mazanec, director of foreign exchange at Investors Bank & Trust Co.

Greenspan told the House Budget Committee that "despite the rise in oil prices through mid-August, inflation and inflation expectations have eased in recent months."

Export prices fell 0.5 percent compared with a revised 0.5 percent rise in July.

Donger
09-09-2004, 11:41 AM
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=businessNews&storyID=6193568

Jobless Claims Slump, Import Prices Jump
Thu Sep 9, 2004 09:37 AM ET

By Alister Bull
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. initial jobless claims slumped last week but the outcome was heavily influenced by weather, while soaring petroleum prices in August powered the cost of imports to an 18-month high.

The dollar strengthened slightly against the euro after the data release although benchmark U.S. 10-year government bond prices slipped.

First-time claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 44,000 to 319,000 in the week ended Sept. 4 from 363,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

It was the steepest weekly decline since a 77,000 plunge in the week ended Dec. 8, 2001, three months after the Sept. 11 attacks. A Labor Department analyst said the drop partly reflected a fall in claims from Florida after a surge in the previous week because of Hurricane Charley.

Wall Street had forecast a substantial fall in claims to 346,000 from the originally reported 362,000 in the previous week.

"We know last week's number was inflated due to the hurricane. The four-week moving average looks good, It suggests that things are improving a bit. That's consistent with the August employment report. We are going to see moderate improvement in September," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's Ratings Service.

Thousands of workers were laid off when the storm hit Florida and temporarily shut down many businesses. The Labor Department official said claims the previous week from Florida, which were over 17,000, had been higher than usual and have now subsided to a more normal level.

In addition, the Labor Day public holiday on Monday may have affected seasonal adjustment factors, the analyst said.

The four-week moving average of filings, which smoothes weekly fluctuations, fell 3,750 to 339,250.

Employment has been a weak spot for the American economy, which grew strongly last year without creating much work, but the picture brightened in August when payrolls grew 144,000.

IMPORT PAIN

In a separate report, the Labor Department reported sharply higher import prices, powered by soaring petroleum costs, suggesting inflation pressures may be building even though the pass-through to consumers remains subdued.

Import prices rose 1.7 percent last month, the largest monthly increase since a matching jump in February 2003.

Wall Street had forecast a milder 0.7 percent advance.

The cost of petroleum products increased 9.6 percent in the month, while nonpetroleum import prices increased 0.4 percent.

On a year-on-year basis, import prices were up 7.2 percent in August while imports excluding petroleum rose 3.2 percent.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on Wednesday blamed oil for the recent slowdown in U.S. economic growth after prices reached almost $50 per barrel last month. Thursday's data showed imported petroleum prices are up 40.4 percent from a year earlier.

But some analysts were not unduly worried by the import price news because consumer inflation remained mute.

"On import prices, I don't think the markets are going to focus on this too much. We heard (what) Greenspan said yesterday about lower inflation expectations. PPI and CPI should be benign," said Tim Mazanec, director of foreign exchange at Investors Bank & Trust Co.

Greenspan told the House Budget Committee that "despite the rise in oil prices through mid-August, inflation and inflation expectations have eased in recent months."

Export prices fell 0.5 percent compared with a revised 0.5 percent rise in July.

"We know last week's number was inflated due to the hurricane. The four-week moving average looks good, It suggests that things are improving a bit. That's consistent with the August employment report. We are going to see moderate improvement in September," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's Ratings Service."

Yep.

Cochise
09-09-2004, 12:15 PM
:rolleyes: Took a whole day to find an article where something ripped from context could sound bad, huh?

RINGLEADER
09-09-2004, 01:19 PM
Jaz isn't going to be able to stand up straight after all the :) :) :) :) :)

KCWolfman
09-09-2004, 03:16 PM
Well, it only takes two or three days to rebuild business and houses, so the unemployment rate should rise back up next month. [sarcasm]

Calcountry
09-09-2004, 03:44 PM
You really are getting desparate Jaz.