Quick ISM catchup: Both indices at the Institute for Supply Management increased during February. Manufacturing went from 53.1% in January to 54.2% in February, while Non Manufacturing went from 55.2% to 56.0%. Both readings are solidly above the 50% threshold indicating expansion, and both reports showed solid positive changes in orders and order backlog.
Initial claims predictions:
- Bloomberg has a seasonally adjusted 355,000, up from last week’s (before today’s almost inevitable upward revision) 344,000.
- Reuters also has 355,000.
- So does Business Insider.
Seasonal factors: Virtually identical — 98.2 this year, and 98.6 during the same week last year.
The report appears at 8:30.
Update: If you’re seeing the report at DOL’s site already, it’s from a previous date, so ignore it.
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending March 2, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 340,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 347,000. The 4-week moving average was 348,750, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 355,750.
… UNADJUSTED DATA
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 333,389 in the week ending March 2, an increase of 23,198 from the previous week. There were 368,433 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.
That’s an improvement. After next week’s revision, it will be in the neighborhood of 5,000 claims below the previous week’s upwardly revised number.
Following the “logic” of the folks at the Associated Press, who believe that consistent claims below 375K mean that the unemployment rate should start coming down, that should start happening in tomorrow’s employment report. It isn’t projected to happen (“Employers are expected to have added 160,000 jobs to their payrolls last month … just be enough to hold the jobless rate steady at 7.9 percent”), but we’ll see.