Jobless Claims Fall More Than Expected

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Initial jobless claims fell slightly more than expected last week.

Claims dropped 23,000 to 452,000 in the week ending Oct. 16, the Department of Labor said. The revised figure for the previous week was 475,000.

A Reuters poll of analysts forecast claims dropping to 455,00 from a previously reported 462,000.

A report from the Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the economy is growing at a "modest pace", with employers reluctant to take on new staff.

"The rate of layoffs remains unpleasantly high, capping spending growth and keeping the consumer cautious," David Semmens, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank told Bloomberg News before the report.

The four-week moving average, a clearer measure of unemployment trends, fell 4,250 to 458,000. The revised average for the previous week was 462,250.
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