US weekly jobless claims lower than expected
US weekly jobless claims came in at 198,000 for the week to December 25, according to data published by the US Department of Labor on Thursday and below expectations of 208,000.
This reading followed last week's print of 206K (revised up from 205K) and came in below market expectations for 208K.
Continued jobless claims dropped sharply to 1.716M in the week ending December 18, the data showed, well below expectations for a small rise to 1.868m from the previous week's 1.856m (which itself was revised down from 1.859M). The insured unemployment rate fell to 1.3% from 1.4% in the prior week.
The four-week moving average was 199,250, a decrease of 7,250 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since October 25, 1969 when it was 199,250. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 206,250 to 206,500, the DoL said in a statement.