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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Joseph Lavorgna
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 5,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 305,000, the second-lowest level in six years. Steady declines in applications show that very few companies are laying off workers.
U.S. unemployment-benefit applications rose 16,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 360,000, although the level remains consistent with steady hiring.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid plummeted to a five-year low last week, a hopeful sign the job market may be improving, but much of the decline reflects seasonal volatility in the data.
The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to a seasonally adjusted 410,000, though the figure was elevated for the second straight week by Superstorm Sandy.
From purchases and prices to builder sentiment and construction, the U.S. housing market is making consistent gains.
More Americans sought unemployment aid last week, suggesting hiring remains sluggish.
An index that tracks the number of signed contracts to buy U.S. homes rose to its highest level in nearly two years last month, the latest sign the battered housing market is improving slowly.
The economy might not be on the brink of another recession after all. Consumers, who drive most economic growth, spent more on cars, furniture, electronics and other goods in July — and more in May and June than previously thought. That burst of activity is encouraging because it shows many Americans were willing to spend despite high unemployment, scant pay raises, steep gas prices and diminished wealth.
Consumers spent more on autos, furniture, clothing and gas in July, pushing up retail sales by the largest amount in four months. The gain signaled that Americans are a little more confident in the economy and could helped dispel fears that the country is headed for another recession.
President Obama's upcoming budget will lay out a credible plan to lower the U.S. deficit, but the funding gap will grow initially owing to the extension of tax cuts, Mr. Obama's budget chief said Wednesday.
"Despite the rise in mortgage rates and house prices, housing affordability will still be well above its long-term average," said Joseph LaVorgna, an economist at Deutsche Bank.
The applications figures "suggest the labor market is getting better, the issue remains the extent of the improvement," said Joseph LaVorgna, an economist at Deutsche Bank.