Jobless Claims Fell Last Week, but Still High
Reuters (06/28/12) Lucia Mutikani
First-time filings for jobless benefits last week fell slightly but remained near the highest level of the year, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Initial claims declined by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 386,000 in the week ended June 23. The prior week’s figure was revised up to 392,000 from the previously reported 387,000. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims easing to 385,000 last week. The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, slipped 750 to 386,750. First-time claims have totaled 380,000 or higher over the past five weeks, a level usually associated with mediocre hiring trends.
U.S. First-Quarter GDP Growth Stays at 1.9%
MarketWatch (06/28/12) Jeffrey Bartash
The U.S. economy’s growth rate in the first quarter was unchanged from earlier estimates at 1.9%, but corporate profits fell for the first time in four years while expansion in exports was much smaller than originally estimated, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported today. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had been expecting GDP to be 1.9%.
Profits of U.S. companies, originally estimated to have risen $11.4 billion, actually fell $6.4 billion, based on more complete data drawn from private-sector and government sources. It was the biggest decline since the third quarter of 2008. The drop in corporate profits largely stemmed from the expiration in 2011 of an investment tax credit. As a result, companies paid sharply higher taxes in the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter.
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