Thursday, January 28, 2010

New US jobless claims, factory orders disappoint

Only if you expected better, those of us paying attention did not.
WASHINGTON — A drop in new U.S. jobless claims came in short of expectations and factory orders rose only slightly, fresh evidence the economy is recovering at a slow, uneven pace.

The Labour Department said Thursday that first-time jobless claims dropped by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 470,000. Analysts had expected a steeper drop to 450,000, according to Thomson Reuters.

The four week average, which smooths out volatility, rose for the second straight week to 456,250. The average had fallen for 19 straight weeks before starting to rise.

Two weeks ago, claims surged by 34,000 due to administrative backlogs left over from the holidays in the state agencies that process the claims, a Labour Department analyst said. Those delays may still be affecting the data, the analyst said.

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