Well, it looks like the government shutdown is beginning to make its presence felt in the economic data. This morning's release of jobless claims, which is one of the few government data points that is being released during the shutdown, came in significantly higher than expected. While economists were looking for a level of 311K, the actual reading came in at 374K. This was the highest reading since 3/29/13, and the largest weekly increase since Super-storm Sandy. The only difference between now and then was that back then it was an event that was out of our hands that caused the spike. The current situation, however, is completely man made as it is due entirely to the government shutdown and computer glitches in California.
This week's big increase in jobless claims caused the four-week moving average to spike by 20K from 305K up to 325K. This is the largest one-week increase since February 2009.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis (NSA), jobless claims rose by 84.6K to 336.8K from 252.2K. While jobless claims have been a bright spot on the economic landscape, there was nothing in today's report that was really in any way positive.
This article was originally published by Bespoke Investment Group.
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