Despite December Turbulence, Economy And Business Optimism Were Strong
Stocks lost 14% of their value in the fourth quarter and it was the worst quarterly loss since 2011. The Fed was sticking with its plan to hike rates, the political crisis in Washington was making new headlines daily, a trade war with China loomed, and uncertainty blemished Europe's economic growth outlook.
Nonetheless, in the week ended January 12th, the Department of Labor's advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment was 213,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 216,000. The four-week moving average was 220,750, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week's unrevised average of 221,750.
On the heels of last week's stronger than expected job-creation report for December, this reinforces a strong employment situation, and jobs fuel personal income of America's consumer economy.
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