Q4 GDP Comes As Expected, Claims Miss Big Two Weeks In A Row
Following last Thursday's weekly claims release we said "Initial Claims Beat Expectations, To Miss Next Week Following Revision" and sure enough, last week's 348K beat of 350K expectations has been revised wildly higher, to 364K, meaning the initial beat was not only a miss, it was wide by a mile relative to the 350K preliminary expectation. But robots do not care - all they care is the current print, which however this time also missed, printing at 359K on expectations of a 350K number. This is the first 4 week increase in the 4 week SMA since September as the weather impact of the record warm winter starts to fade away, as explained yesterday. Same gimmicks in the continuing claims number too which like everything out of the BLS is so meaningless for concurrent data, we will probably just wait until the next week revision to get a sense of what is truly happening. More troubling is that 78K people fell of extended and EUC claims as more and more drop out of the workforce. This means the unemployment rate just dropped courtesy of even more people giving up on finding work. Thank heavens for BLS math. In other news, the final Q4 GDP revision came unchanged at 3.0%, in line with expectations. There were no major changes to the components, however Personal consumption did decline modestly from the second revision's 1.52% to 1.47%. It also appears that the government has been consistently taking away less and less from "growth", detracting 0.93%, 0.89% and 0.84% with every consecutive revision. Overall, a wash, meaning March is about to close with about with 17 misses out of 19 key economic indicators.