When we reported on the surge in last week's initial claims from 342K to 388K, we made one simple forecast: "Remember: this number will be revised to 391K next week." We were off: it was revised to 392K. In other words, the data charlatainism at the DOL continues unabated. And of course, today's Initial Claims number which magically "beat" expectations by 1K, printing at 369K, on expectations of 370K, will be revised to a miss of 372K next week. The BLS has become a total farce. In other manipulated news, the BLS reported the culprit for last week's surge in Claims: it was California, which saw a +26,935 jump in initial claims, due to "Layoffs across all sectors, with the largest share from the service industry." This somehow is supposed to offset the -4,979 claims drop from the week before, when all those plunges and jumps in claims took place. Elsewhere, the number of Americans on extended claims and EUCs dropped to 2.1 million, down 1.4 million from a year earlier.
This is how claims data looks like taken at face value and looked at from an adjusted, post-revision, standpoint, courtesy of John Lohman.
Rounding up the economic picture was more data misdirection frustrations from the Census bureau, which reported a whopping 9.9% surge in durable goods orders on expectations of a 7.5% rise, entire driven by nondefense aircraft and parts. This followed the August collapse which was revised from 13.2% to 13.1%. The spike was driven entirely by the transportation sector: Durable Goods ex transportation were up just 2.0%. But as usual one needs to dig into the data to get a good sense of what is truly going on absent Boeing's volatile order book (which can be cancelled with one phone call), and which soared by 2,640% (from 535MM to 14.7BN): Capital Goods excluding aircraft declined by 0.3% on expectations of a 0.8% increase, following a 1.2% decline last month, and down 1.6% from the month before. This was the third Cap Goods number in a row that has missed expectations, and is the only relevant number in the entire series from a macroeconomic standpoint.
Overall an ugly report which will likely results in a reduction in GDP forecasts when the beancounters boot up their abacuses.