US Unemployment Claims Better than Expected; Manufacturing Output Miss its Mark

by on January 23, 2014 4:04 pm BST

Jobless claims in the United States loiters near a six-month low but increased by 1,000 to 326K in the week ending on January 18. Analysts expected an increase to 331K jobless claims; and last week’s data was revised down 1K from 226K to 225K, according to data from the Labor Department.

The December’s non-farm payroll is still being played off by bad weather, although the trend is remained to be seen. “After the December jobs report everybody was pretty nervous. This is a number that makes it more likely December was a fluke,” said William Cheney, the chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services. Although less are claiming unemployment, it is still unseen whether or not the non-farm gains from November and December were a fluke and if holiday seasonality had anything to do with it.

Markit Economics flash manufacturing PMI hit its lowest point since October indicating slower output and new orders growth. The 53.7 percent print was lower than analyst estimates of 55.4 and December’s reading of 54.4. Data showed continued slowdown from November’s 10-month high as new orders fell. Survey respondents said that the cold weather usually has a negative influence on new business intakes. Moreover, the data showed a weaker spending shift among international clients since the beginning of 2014. New export volume fell for the first time in four months.

US equities and the dollar are down large after the string of bad data. The S&P500 is down 19.39 points, and the dollar is down .81 percent.