Thursday, May 14, 2009
In the week ending May 9, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 637,000, an increase of 32,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 605,000. The 4-week moving average was 630,500, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week's revised average of 624,500.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 2 was 6,560,000, an increase of 202,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 6,358,000. The 4-week moving average was 6,337,250, an increase of 128,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 6,208,500.
i commented yesterday on using the yield curve, confidence differential and ECRI WLI to gauge the possibility of any economic turnaround. add to that weekly claims. per CR:
Typically the four-week average [of initial unemployment claims] peaks near the end of a recession.
The four-week average increased this week by 6,000, and is now 28,250 below the peak. There is a reasonable chance that claims have peaked for this cycle, but it is still too early to be sure, and if so, continued claims should peak soon.
the trouble is sorting through the headfakes. i overlayed markers over some of the past false signals in the four-week average to highlight the fact that this (like almost everything else in life) doesn't move in a straight line. it will take a four-week sustained upturn in claims averaging 659,000 -- and that is unfortunately far from impossible in this environment, even given the benefits of government backstops in the financial system and modest fiscal stimulus.