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Old October 16th 03, 04:06 PM
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Default OT--Jobless Claims Fall, Inflation Stays Low

Jobless Claims Fall, Inflation Stays Low
Thu October 16, 2003 09:12 AM ET

By Anna Willard
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. jobs market is showing signs of improvement
and inflation remains low in the economy outside the energy sector,
government reports on Thursday said.

The number of Americans filing an initial claim for jobless benefits fell
last week to the lowest level since early February, the Labor Department
said, a hopeful sign for job seekers.

Underlying inflation, stripping out volatile food and energy costs rose 0.1
percent in September, in line with expectations. Over the last 12 months,
the core CPI has risen just 1.2 percent, the smallest increase since
February 1966, the department said.

"By and large these numbers so far today show a strong economy," said Pierre
Ellis, senior international economist at Decision Economics.

First-time filings for state unemployment aid fell 4,000 last week to
384,000 from the previous week. The number was broadly in line with
analysts' expectations that claims would be 388,000.

"The jobless numbers were certainly encouraging. We got a decline and it
suggests that the labor market is recovering," said Parul Jain, Nomura
Securities International.

It was the second week in a row that claims came in under 400,000.
Economists say claims above 400,000 suggest a deteriorating jobs market.

The drop also brought a decline in the closely watched four-week moving
average of initial filings, seen as more reliable because it irons out
weekly fluctuations.

The department said the average fell 4,250 to 390,750, also the lowest since
early February.

While the report suggested layoffs are slowing, it also showed unemployed
workers are still having a tough time finding new jobs. For the week ended
Oct. 4, the number of Americans claiming benefits after filing an initial
claim climbed 58,000 to 3.67 million.

The labor market has lagged other areas of the economy. But recent reports
have been encouraging for job seekers. In September, the economy created
57,000 new jobs, the first increase in eight months.


Analysts said the inflation report was consistent with expectations and
recent reports indicating inflation is low.

"Underlying inflation has clearly stabilized. Meanwhile concerns that
inflation will decelerate much further are eased by the fact that some
service prices continue to rise quite sturdily," said Ellis.

The overall Consumer Price Index, the most widely used gauge of U.S.
inflation, rose 0.3 percent in September, just above analysts' forecasts for
a 0.2 percent climb.

Helping to boost the overall number was a 6.3 percent increase in gasoline
prices, the fastest pace since a 9.9 percent jump in February. Energy costs
were up 3.0 percent.

Among the core rate, clothing prices rose 0.5 percent in September, the
largest increase in over a year. But new car prices fell 0.4 percent, the
largest drop since the beginning of the year, and airline fares sank 1.8

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed companies continue to
pare inventories. Stocks at U.S. businesses in August dropped a
larger-then-expected 0.4 percent, reflecting a large drop in automobile


McAuliffe better find a good therapist.

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Old October 20th 03, 01:22 PM
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Default OT--Jobless Claims Fall, Inflation Stays Low

"NOYB" wrote in message news:auyjb.9660

snip the drivel

Yep, if the economy keeps it's present course, we'll recover to
pre-Bush numbers in about 5 years, unless we get him and his voodoo
economics to hell out of Washington.

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