New jobless claims fell below 300,000 during the week ending October 2 for the first time since March 2020 and consumer prices jumped up in September.

Jobless Claims Dipped to 293,000

For the first time since March 14, 2020, new jobless claims dipped below 300,000.  The US Department of Labor announced that new jobless claims during the week ending October 2 dropped to 293,000.  Industry experts expected 320,000 new claims.

Likewise, continuing jobless claims came in at a pandemic-era low of 2.593M versus the 2.670M expected.

This latest weekly data on initial and continuing weekly jobless claims has been creeping down and closer to pre-pandemic levels over the past several months.  This most current data both reflects  and confirms a slowdown in firings, layoffs and separations as re-openings are happening and worker demand is surging.

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Consumer Prices Jumped More than Economists Expected in September

Limited amounts of goods due to supply chain disruptions and surging housing prices combined to fuel inflation in September.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) climbed +5.4% in September compared to last year at this time.  This jump in the CPI in September was faster than the 5.3% increase in August and it was more than expected by economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

From August to September, the CPI rose +0.4%.  Though monthly price gains have slowed since the summer when they popped up to 0.9, such monthly price gains are increasing quickly.  Also, these price gains are not fading as fast as policymakers had anticipated.

Accelerating Home Prices Concern Economists

Our coaching clients know better than most (along with potential home buyers who have been priced out of the market) what’s been going on with home prices these last few months.

As food, especially meat and eggs, cost consumers more in September, housing prices accelerated over +19% in September, according to the CoreLogic Dow Jones Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

Housing costs are an important part of overall inflation.  Economists worry about housing costs because home price acceleration is more long-lasting than other goods and services.

Fed Officials See Taper Beginning mid-November or mid-December

At its last policy meeting, Federal Reserve officials agreed to start reducing pandemic stimulus in mid-November or mid-December.

The tapering path will likely feature “…monthly reductions in the pace of asset purchases, by $10B in the case of Treasury securities and $5B in the case of agency mortgage-backed securities.”

Thanks to Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg and The New York Times.



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