Thursday, September 20, 2012

Factory & jobless claims reports, bad news

From Reuters:
Manufacturing closed out its weakest quarter in three years this month and the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits held near two-month highs last week, suggesting the economic recovery is failing to gain traction.

Other reports on Thursday suggested the economy's weakness could prove protracted, with factory activity in the Mid-Atlantic contracting for a fifth straight month in September and a measure of future economic activity dipping in August...

The economy grew at a sluggish 1.7 percent annual rate in the second quarter, and economists said growth this quarter was unlikely to have picked up much -- particularly with factory activity showing fatigue...

The preliminary, manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index averaged 51.5 in the third quarter..., its worst showing since the third quarter of 2009. At 51.2, the output component was the lowest since September 2009.

"With output growing at the slowest pace since the recovery began, the manufacturing sector may have even acted as a slight drag on the economy in the third quarter," Market chief economist Chris Williamson said...

The four-week moving average for new claims... rose for a fifth straight week to its highest level since June...

U.S. employers added only 96,000 jobs in August, a step down from July's 141,000 count.

While the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent in August from 8.3 percent, it was because many Americans gave up the search for work.

The jobless rate has been stuck above 8 percent for more than three years, the first time this has happened since the Great Depression. 
Good job, Mr. President! You deserve another term!