U.S. Data Report 25 FEB 2010: Jobless claims and durable goods orders disappoint


Active Trader
Jan 12, 2010
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Today’s release of U.S. jobless claims and durable goods data turned out to be somewhat disappointing as initial claims rose to 496,000 from a revised figure of 474,000 in the previous week, with analysts expecting the figure to fall to around 460,000. The Labour Department has come out and said that the jump in claims could be attributed to snowstorms (which delayed the release of U.S. retail sales and business inventory data earlier this month) and as such, may make the number not as bad as it seems. However, with the February jobs data to be released on March 5, economists are forecasting another negative number for the non-farm payrolls figure (-40,000 compared to the –20,000 seen in January).

The headline durable goods orders figure of 3% was much higher than the median forecast of 1.5% but on closer analysis, it was the order of aircraft from Boeing that was partly behind the rise and hence the unexpected –0.6% fall in orders excluding transportation (economists had predicted +1.0%) increases concerns over the U.S. economy as we approach the end of the first quarter of 2010.

Fed Chairman Bernanke will give his testimony to the Senate Banking Committee after yesterday’s presentation to the House Financial Services Committee, in which he sounded dovish and kept to the oft-repeated line that the Fed funds rates would remain low for an extended period of time.

Other economic indicators (such as consumer confidence and new home sales) have been sluggish and show a dip in the euphoria from the rebound in stock markets and economic growth in the second half of 2009. Interest rate futures markets are pricing in a rate hike for around November this year but this prediction could be pushed back as clearer signs of the pace of the recovery in the economy emerges.


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