Initial jobless claims decreased by 3,000 to 213,000 in the week ending 12 January from the previous week’s unrevised level of 216,000. It is the second consecutive week of declines and brought the number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits to the lowest level since the week ending 8 December 2018. The figure was better than the 220,000 the markets had been expecting and is further evidence that the job market is healthy in the US.
The government shutdown entered its 27th day yesterday, with a new poll showing 57% of voters would definitely vote against Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. CBS reported that the White House is considering having Trump deliver the State of the Union from the Senate chamber, following Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request that he delayed the address until after the shutdown ended.
It is a relatively busy end to the week for America, with the manufacturing and industrial production figures for December on the schedule. We will also see the University of Michigan’s preliminary reading of the consumer sentiment for January. In December, the figure came in at 98.3 and it is expected to drop a little to 97.0 this month.
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