What I Saw Last Week
U.S. Initial Unemployment Claims rose to 274,000 for the week ending August 8th from a downwardly revised 269,000 (from 270,000). I was expecting a rise to 275,000.
The four-week moving average fell to 266,250 from 268,000. That was the lowest four-week moving average since April 2000, when it also reached 266,250. As I have said before, these trends support an economy that is at or, at least, very near full employment.
U.S. Retail Sales increased 0.6% in July after an upward revision brought sales to the flat line (from -0.3%) in June. I was expecting to see an increase of 0.5%. Excluding autos, core sales increased 0.4% in July after increasing an upwardly revised 0.4% (from -0.1%) in June.
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