Initial Claims decreased to 382,000, for the week ending 03/19, lower than the expected decrease to 384,000, after decreasing to 387,000, the revised level for the previous week. The 4-week moving average decreased to 382,250, the lowest level since July 2008, from the previous week’s revised average of 386,750. Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment from the prior week, ending on 03/12, was 3,721,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3, 723,000. Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate from the week ending on 03/12, was 3.0%, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised figure of 3.0%.
Durable Orders decreased by 0.9% or $1.9 billion, during February to $200.0 billion, against the expected 1.3% increase. This decrease, down four of the last five months, follows a 3.6% January increase. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.6%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.4%. Machinery, down for two consecutive months, had the largest decrease, $1.2 billion or 4.2% to $26.6 billion. Orders for commercial aircraft were one of the few sources of strength, witnessing a 26.7% increase in demand.