Economics – Today’s Numbers

The news has been heavy on the earnings side lately, but today we had a few economic numbers that may be of interest to those focusing on the ‘big picture’.

Initial Jobless Claims –

Initial Jobless Claims are released on a weekly basis by U.S Department of Labor. This is a pretty volatile number that may jump around from week to week so many analysts like to look at a four week moving average of the result to smooth out the ‘noise’. Today the number for the week ending January 21st came out at 377,000 which is basically in line with expectations. Also the four period moving average is at the same level.

Continuing Jobless Claims –

The Continuing Jobless Claims number is also a weekly number that may be a bit volatile. Like Initial Claims, many analysts like to apply a four week moving average to this number. For the week ending January 14th Continuing Jobless Claims came out at 3,554,000 which was a jump of 88,000. The four week average dropped a little.

Durable Goods –

Durable Goods Orders for December 2011 came out showing a month over month increase of 3% which was slightly higher than expectations. This is a measure of economic activity that receives a lot of attention as it is a good leading indication of manufacturing activity in the United States. The number tabulates the increase or decrease of orders for high ticket items used in manufacturing.

Leading Economic Indicators –

The Leading Economic Indicator number is a combination of ten factors that focus on employment, goods orders, and even the price of equities. It is a month over month number and the December reading was up 0.4%, which was actually lighter than expected. 

Tomorrow we get a slew of numbers – Fourth Quarter Exports, Fourth Quarter Advance GDP, and the January Michigan Consumer Sentiment Indicators.