Jobless Claims Down & Inflation Calming In Canada And U.S.
There seems to be positive news for the unemployed as U.S. initial jobless claims for the latest week, ending January 14, were the lowest number since fall 2008. At only 352,000 claims, this is an incredible change from the low March 2009 point of 656,000 claims. In just one week, the jobless claims have dropped 52,000 from the week ending January 7th. This combined with an easing inflation rate in the U.S. and Canada indicates a stabilizing economy, according to Reed Construction Data (RCD). RCD also said the energy price index in Canada has fallen to +6.0%, after a high of +17.1% just last spring while the U.S. energy price sub-index change has dropped to +6.6% compared to a high of +21.5% in May 2010.
Also reported by RCD is Canada’s leading indicator series, which has steadily kept improving, with a +0.8% increase in December, following a +0.9% increase in November. Eight of the 10 sub-indices moved higher in December, led by manufacturing. RCD said, “Within manufacturing, the average workweek in hours (+0.8%), new orders for durables (+1.0%) and the shipments-to-inventories ratio (+0.02 points) recorded gains.” It does seem that there is hope for the two economies after all.
Source: Reed Construction Data