The US initial jobless claims declined moderately by 2,000 to 312,000 in the week ending on June 21, according to Labor Department figures. The print was less than forecasted with analyst consensus expecting a decline to 310,000 weekly jobless claims. The previous week’s figure was revised upwards to 314,000 from 312,000 jobless claims.
Continuing jobless claims increased by 12,000 to 2.57 million in the week ending on June 14, as the unemployment rate for those eligible for unemployment benefits increased one-tenth percent to two percent.
Consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economic growth struggled to pick up in May. Analysts were looking for personal spending to increase .4 percent, while the print came in at .2 percent in May. The previous month’s figure was revised up from negative .1 percent to zero, according to data provided by the Commerce Department. When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending has declined for the second straight month, declining .1 percent in May and .2 percent in April. The savings rate among Americans rose to 4.8 percent from 4.5 percent, the highest since last September.
The weaker spending data comes after the US reported a first quarter gross domestic product contraction of 2.9 percent, the worst non-recession figure in nearly six decades.