Massive Surprise in Jobless Claims and Uptick in Consumer Prices


Thursday brought a lot of economic reports for the markets to absorb. The Labor Department reported its October inflation report via the Consumer Price Index, and it also released a major disappointment to the weekly jobless claims. Another reading was the Empire Manufacturing report.

On inflation, the Consumer Price Index was listed as up 0.1% in the headline number, and the core reading, which eliminates volatile food and energy, came to a gain of 0.2%. Bloomberg was looking for a gain of 0.1% on the headline and 0.2% on the core inflation for October. This is higher than the PPI (wholesale inflation) would have indicated.

The biggest headline shocker on the surface came from the Labor Department's weekly jobless claims. We would note that many government offices were unable to deal with the reports properly due to the aftermath of the storm in the Northeast, but the jump went up to a massive 439,000 from 361,000 the week before. Bloomberg was only looking for 376,000. An analyst at the Labor Department said that the spike was due to a number of workers who were without work due to school closures and as factories and construction sites were knocked out of commission. The continuing jobless claims, the army of unemployed with a two-week lag, jumped to 3.334 million from 3.16 million.

Lastly, the Empire State Manufacturing Index fell to -5.2 in November from a prior reading of -6.16 in October. This report is from the New York Federal Reserve and is based on a monthly survey of manufacturers in New York State. The report was in-line with expectations, as the consensus estimate was -5, according to Bloomberg.


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