Unemployment claims surged, and 7 other major US economy updates – Quartz

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Millions of Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving this week, but the latest data on the US economy shows exactly which areas have the most to be thankful for. Government statisticians moved up the release of figures that would have otherwise occurred during the holiday. That left the release of seven indicators today. Here’s a rundown:

1. 😞 Jobless claims were up

Jobless claims continued to rise across the country for the second week in a row. There were 778,000 people who made their initial claim for state unemployment insurance benefits.

2. 🧐 Durable goods had a defense-driven bright spot

Orders of long-lasting products rose 1.3% in October, mostly a result of military spending. Non-defense orders rose 0.2%, led by transportation equipment.

3. 😐 GDP was unchanged

The latest revision to third-quarter GDP growth left the overall figure unchanged at an annualized rate of 33.1%. The largest shifts in estimates was for privately-owned housing. The annualized figure is a bit misleading, GDP is still 3.5% below pre-pandemic levels.

4. 😀 New home sales remained elevated

The number of home sales fell slightly in October compared to September, but were still 41.5% higher compared to last year. October marked the fourth consecutive month that the pace of new home sales exceeded an annual pace of 900,000. These data measure only the sales of newly-constructed homes, not sales of those that have been previously lived in.

5. 😞 Personal Income fell

Personal income fell 0.7%, highlighting the impact of slowing government economic recovery payments and the importance of pandemic-related assistance programs.

6. 🤷‍♀️ Consumer sentiment stayed the same

Consumer sentiment fell November after remaining steady in October. The current index level of 96.1 is well below the pre-pandemic reading of 132.6.

7. 🙂The trade deficit in goods grew

The US trade deficit increased from September to October for goods. That’s despite imports reaching their highest levels in more than a year.

8.  🤔 What the Federal Reserve is thinking about

The minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Nov. 4 and 5 were also published today. The FOMC sets policies for the US Federal Reserve to execute. Discussions included possible changes for how the central bank purchases bonds, as well as whether these purchases would help boost the economy. Members noted ”that economic activity and employment had continued to recover but remained well below their levels at the beginning of the year”

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