From a revised 332k last week, initial claims collapsed 32k to 300k (smashing expectations of 320k) and dropping to the lowest of the recovery. This is the lowest initial claims print since May 2007. Rather stunningly, given the real employment situation in America, this claims data is nearing the best levels since 2000 (and certainly does nothing for the un-taper case so many are hoping for). This is the biggest weekly drop since January 2006. Continuing claims also dropped to new cycle lows back to Jan 2008 lows. Mission Accomplished?
Elsewhere, import prices came in far higher than expected, printing at 0.6% above the 0.2% expected, down from the 0.9% last month, however the increase was driven not by the volatile fuel import prices which tumbled from 5.3% to 1.2%, but by core, nonfuel imports which rose from -0.1% to 0.3% - the highest since January and matching the highest sequential increase of the past year.
This was the lowest annual import price decline since August:
All Imports Excluding Fuel: Prices for nonfuel imports also increased in March, rising 0.3 percent, after edging down 0.1 percent in February. The March increase was led by a 3.7-percent advance in foods, feeds, and beverages prices, although higher nonfuel industrial supplies and materials prices and prices for capital goods also contributed to the advance. The price indexes for consumer goods and automotive vehicles recorded no change in March. Despite the March rise, nonfuel import prices declined 0.8 percent over the past 12 months
It appears Japan's exporting of deflation may be coming to an end.
Finally, March export prices rose by 0.8%, the most in over a year, driven by a 2.7% increase in agricultural export prices:
Here are the details:
All Exports: Export prices advanced 0.8 percent in March, the largest monthly increase for the index since a 0.8-percent rise in September 2012. Rising prices for both agricultural exports and nonagricultural exports each contributed to the advance in export prices. Prices for exports also rose over the past year, increasing 0.2 percent. The year-over-year advance was the first 12-month rise since a 0.3-percent increase between July 2012 and July 2013.
Agricultural Exports: The price index for agricultural exports increased 2.7 percent in March, after a 1.4- percent advance in February. The March rise was driven by a 6.6-percent increase in soybeans prices, a 7.8-percent gain in wheat prices, a 2.8-percent advance in meat prices, and a 7.0-percent rise in corn prices. Prices for agricultural exports decreased 1.6 percent for the year ended in March, led by falling prices over the past year for corn, soybeans, and wheat.
How long until global food prices start doing their early 2011 spike leading to unfortunate consequences like various regional "springs" around the world, and how long until US inflation imports translates into inflation within America's internal supply chain?