Each day the Research staff takes a look at recently released economic indicators, addressing what these indicators mean for REALTORS® and their clients. Today’s update discusses jobless claims and the GDP.
- Initial unemployment insurance claims continue falling down to record lows since the start of recovery. New claims fell 5,000 to 359,000 for last week, while the four-week average is also down 3,500 to 365,000. A level of 400,000 is usually viewed by economists as suggesting improvement in the labor market with more job creations than job losses. The four-week average has been on a continual downward slope since September of last year. Continuing claims also fell by a significant 41,000 to 3.340 million. If the figure for new jobless claims remains at around 350,000, it would generally be associated with nearly 3 million net jobs created for the year.
- In a separate release, the Commerce Department released the final estimate of the 4th quarter GDP, confirming the previous estimate of GDP growth at 3.0 percent.
- Year-over-year, the GDP increased 1.6 percent, compared to 1.5 percent in the third quarter. We expect that GDP growth in the first quarter will have slowed to about 2.0 percent.