Jobless Claims Drop, Retail Sales Bump Up 0.5% in January
February 12, 2010 - Though it has been a week of minimal market data, the economic reports that were released strongly favored the road to recovery. For the week ending February 6th, weekly jobless claims were at 440,000, decreasing 43,000 from the previous week. The four week moving average, which aims to level volatility in data, came in at 468,500, decreasing just 1,000 from prior reports.
While initial claims for jobless benefits saw an unanticipated decrease, retail sales sprung back in January, reaching 355.8 billion for the month. Edging up just 0.5%, the Commerce Department reported that retail sales are up a total of 4.7% in the past year.
To round out the mostly positive data for the week, early consumer sentiment reports recorded an early decrease for the month of February. Following a recent drop in the unemployment rate, this early indicator may be showing that Americans are not entirely convinced that the job market is turning around despite several upbeat economic surges.