Initial weekly US jobless claims undershoot forecasts
First time weekly unemployment claims in the US undershot market forecasts by a wide margin during the latest week for which data were unavailable.
According to the Department of Labor, in seasonally adjusted terms, initial unemployment claims dropped by 35,000 over the week ending on 4 September to reach 310,000.
Economists at Barclays Research had forecast 335,000 initial claims.
Labor's estimate for the prior week was revised higher by 5,000.
The four-week moving average of initial claims, which aims to smooth out the variations in the data from one week to the next, declined by 16,750 to 339,500.
Secondary unemployment claims, or those not being filed for the first time and referencing the week finished on 28 August, fell by 22,000 to approximately 2.78m.
Commenting on the latest figures, Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, attributed the decline to favourable seasonal factors and - possibly - to hurricane Ida, which all else equal would tend to lower the claims count.
Nonetheless, Sheperdson added: "But the underlying trend is still falling, despite the Delta wave [...] Note that these data tell us nothing about September payrolls, because they have nothing to say about hiring activity. We expect another soft reading."