Initial Claims increased to 397,000 for the week ending 03/05, against the expected increase to 373,000, after decreasing to 371,000, the revised level for the previous week. This increase comes after applications dropped to their lowest level in almost three years the previous week. The 4-week moving average increased to 392,250, from the previous week’s revised average of 389,250. Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment from the prior week, ending on 02/26, was 3,771,000, a decrease of 20,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,791,000. Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate from the week ending on 02/26, was 3.0%, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised figure of 3.0%.
The Trade Deficit increased by $6 billion to $46.3 billion in January, against the expected increase to $41.4 billion, from a revised figure of $40.3 billion for December. January exports increased by $4.4 billion to $167.7 billion, offset by imports, which increased by $10.5 billion to $214.1 billion. The Commerce Department provided the January figures of the trade balance of the U.S. relative to selected trading partners, in billions of dollars, with surpluses in Hong Kong ($2.2), Australia ($1.2), Singapore ($0.8) and Egypt ($0.5). Deficits were recorded, in billions of dollars, with China ($23.3), OPEC ($9.9), the European Union ($5.6), Mexico ($4.9), Japan ($5.0), Canada ($3.7), Nigeria ($2.9), Venezuela ($2.8), Ireland ($1.9), Germany ($3.1), Taiwan ($0.9) and Korea ($1.0).