Sept. 1 - The first batch of U.S. economic data for August show a drop in jobless claims, slower nationwide manufacturing growth, and better-than-expected chain store sales, suggesting the economy is not in recession. Conway G. Gittens reports.
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There's good news from the labor market. The number of Americans heading for the first time to the unemployment office dropped by 12,000 last week. And the amount of people staying on jobless benefits beyond the first week dropped to 3.74 million in the latest data. Economists say those numbers suggest the labor market continues to struggle, but does not indicate the economy is in recession.
The idea of a growing, albeit, very slow growing economy is backed up by the factory floor. Manufacturing activity grew for the 25th consecutive month, but at a slower pace than the prior month, in the Institute for Supply Management's August survey.
Early numbers are rolling out from the shops. So far sales at stores opened at least a year are coming in better than expected for August, despite a plunge in consumer confidence and a storm that battered the U.S. East Coast.
Conway Gittens, Reuters