The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, new figures from the US Labor Department show.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 268,000 for the week ending March 28, the Labor Department said today (March 2nd). Claims for the prior week were revised to show 6,000 more applications received than previously reported.
The US Labor Department is also due to release jobless claims tomorrow. US employers probably hired fewer workers in March than the previous month, economists quoted by Bloomberg said before Friday’s payrolls report.
Interest rate hike debate
The job figures come after the publication of weak manufacturing data on Wednesday, renewing speculation about when the Fed will raise interest rates. While many analysts expect that interest rates will start rising as soon as June, the downbeat manufacturing data led some to believe this might happen later in the year.
However, a few days ago, the Fed modified its stance on interest rates, dropping its "patient" language from the policy statement, and trimmed its growth and inflation forecasts.
US consumer prices rebounded last month as petrol prices rose for the first time since June last year, according to new figures, which weighed in favour of an early interest rate hike.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.2 per cent in February, but remained unchanged from a year earlier, the Department of Labor said. The monthly rise follows three consecutive months of declines, including a 0.7 per cent drop in January, partly due to a drop in oil prices. US Fed Chair Janet Yellen previously said that the decision to raise interest rates would be data dependent.
StoneX Financial Ltd (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.
No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.