Jobless Claims & Philly Fed 4/19/12: Ungood


Jobless Claims 4/19: Oops

There’s no love here.

In the week ending April 14, the advance figure for  seasonally adjusted initial claims was 386,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 388,000. The 4-week moving average  was 374,750, an increase of 5,500 from the previous week’s revised average of  369,250.

“But it went down!” I hear you say.  Uh, no.  The revisions folks, the revisions.  Again.

There’s nothing good here; this looks like yet another train wreck and shows that job “creation” is at best tepid and might be turning negative.

There is however, one interesting thing in the big table — and note that this is in last month’s numbers:

That regular drop is definitely something to take note of.  We’ll see if that’s a one-off or an actual meaningful change…… there have been a number of drops in that figure of late, so it cannot be ignored without further evidence that it is an anomaly.

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Philly Fed – Softening

Not good…

Manufacturing firms responding to the April Business Outlook Survey indicated that regional manufacturing activity expanded modestly this month. The survey’s broad indicators for general activity, new orders, and shipments all remained positive but fell slightly from their readings last month. The indicator for current employment, however, showed a notable improvement. Price pressures were only slightly more widespread this month. The survey’s broad indicators of future activity remained at relatively high readings, and firms were more optimistic about their plans for hiring over the next six months.

Yeah, ok.  Nice try.

The diffusion index came in at 8.5, down from 12.5 last month.  New orders and shipments were both down, unfilled orders (backlog) was an outlier and showed build, inventories were up (a lot) and prices paid were also up (not so good), far more than prices received (very bad.)

More ominously while hiring took place employee workweek contracted.  That implies overshoot in the activity by employers, which is very bad on a forward basis.

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