Initial Claims & Durable Orders (Feb. 24)

Initial Claims decreased to 391,000, for the week ending 02/19, against the expected decrease to 401,000, after increasing to 413,000, the revised level for the previous week. The 4-week moving average decreased to 402,000, the lowest level in more than two years, from the previous week’s revised average of 418,500. Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment from the prior week, ending on 02/12, was 3,790,000, a decrease of 145,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3, 935,000. Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate from the week ending on 02/12, was 3.0%, a decrease of 0.1% from the previous week’s unrevised figure of 3.1%.

Durable Orders increased by 2.7% or $5.3 billion, during January to $200.5 billion, lower than the expected 3.1% increase. This increase follows three consecutive monthly decreases including a 0.4% decrease in December. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 3.6%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 1.9%. Transportation equipment, also up following three consecutive monthly decreases, had the largest increase, $10.9 billion or 27.6% to $50.5 billion. This was led by nondefense aircraft and parts, which increased $7.3 billion.

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