Jobless Claims fell, Leading Indicators Rose, Philadelphia Fed Index Down

In the week ending Oct. 14, initial jobless claims for unemployment benefit fell 10,000 to 299,000, according to the Department of Labor. The 4-week moving average was 307,750, a decrease of 5,750 from the previous week's revised average of 313,500.

The job market remains healthy as the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6% in September, matching a 5-year low. 

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% for the week ending Oct. 7. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Oct. 7 was 2,453,000, an increase of 25,000 from the preceding week. 

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending Sept. 30 were in Puerto Rico (3.7 percent), Michigan (3.0), and Alaska (2.7). The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending Oct. 7 were in Michigan (+4,411), Pennsylvania (+4,338), and California (+4,161). 

LEADING INDICATORS

The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index increased 0.1%, the coincident index remained unchanged and the lagging index increased 0.2% in September. The leading index now stands at 137.7 (1996=100). 

The leading index increased in September, following two consecutive declines. From March to September, the leading index fell by 0.9%. The leading index has declined in 5 of the last 8 months. 

Five of the ten indicators that make up the leading index increased in September. The positive contributors were index of consumer expectations, real money supply, stock prices, average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance (inverted), and manufacturers' new orders for nondefense capital goods. The negative contributors were building permits, average weekly manufacturing hours, vendor performance, interest rate spread, and manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods and materials.

Three of the four indicators that make up the coincident index increased in September. The positive contributors to the index were personal income less transfer payments, manufacturing and trade sales, and employees on nonagricultural payrolls. The negative contributor was industrial production.

Philadelphia Fed Index 

The Philadelphia Fed business index edges down by 0.7 in October, following  a 0.4 decrease in September, showing some weakness in the area in business. 

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