The number of Americans filing for state unemployment insurance climbed last week as the Memorial Day holiday disrupted claims processing by government offices.
Requests for jobless benefits increased 10,000 to 354,000 in the week ending Friday May 25th. Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted 340,000 new filings. The prior week’s figures were revised 4,000 higher to 344,000.
Virginia and Wyoming issued estimates for their claims and three others, Hawaii, Minnesota and Oregon did not report and had their figures estimated by the Labor Department according to a government official.
The four week moving average rose to 347,250 from 340,500. The average has declined 6 percent this year from 369,250 in the first week in January.
The economy expanded slightly less than originally forecast in the first quarter. Gross domestic production rose 2.4 percent in the first three months of the year, 0.1% less than the original estimate from the Commerce Department.
The dollar dropped as low as 1.3061 against the euro a three-week low after yesterdays close at 1.2941. The U.S. currency also fell as far as 100.47 versus the yen after Wednesday’s 101.16 close.
Weaker than forecast U.S. economic data has dialed back some of the recent market speculation that the improving economy will permit the Fed to begin curtailing its $85 billion a month securities purchases.
Chief Market Strategist