Unemployment Claims Fell to Lowest since 1969 Nationally
- Initial unemployment claims totaled 199,000 for the week ending Nov. 20, the lowest level since the week of Nov. 15, 1969. Meanwhile, the 2,049,000 continuing claims for the week ending Nov. 13 marked a post-pandemic low. In addition, total unemployment insurance payments dropped to $45.2 billion in October, the lowest level since February 2020, after peaking at $1,395.8 billion in June 2020.\
- New orders for durable goods pulled back for the second straight month. However, excluding transportation equipment, new durable goods sales rose 0.5% in October. Demand for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft—a proxy for capital spending in the U.S. economy—increased 0.6% to a record $78.6 billion in October.
- Overall, the durable goods data continue to reflect a strong upward trend, even as manufacturers struggle with supply chain bottlenecks, worker shortages and soaring costs.
- After slipping to 52.1 in October, the slowest pace of growth since March, the IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI inched up to 53.9 in November. Respondents continued to signal optimism in the outlook for the next six months despite ongoing concerns.
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