Thursday, November 14, 2013 - Article by: Richard Airey - First Financial Mortgage -
The Labor Department reported this morning that weekly state unemployment claims fell by 2,000 in the latest week to 339,000 and above the 330,000 that was expected. The four week moving average, which irons out any seasonal abnormalities, fell by 5,750 to 344,000. The labor markets are being weighed down by lackluster domestic demand for goods and services.In a separate report, U.S. Productivity in the third quarter rose by 1.9% from the 1.8% in Q2. Gains in Productivity could dissuade companies from ramping up hiring. Productivity measures the amount of output per hours worked. In the latest Gross Domestic Product report, consumer spending was at a three year low, so employers will have to raise employee efficiency in an effort to strengthen profits. For the first time since 1995, the U.S. has produced more oil than it has imported due to a surge in domestic shale output and with demand being relatively flat, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said this week. The EIA said the trend should continue as oil supplies grow while reliance on imports eases. The U.S. continues to be the world's largest oil-consuming nation.
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