Recession Watch: Jobs, Durables, Income, Spending

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If you were looking for good news before the holiday, you might need to look at retail discounts for retail or might want to read some nice childrens’ books.  The economic data does not have any good news in it to speak of unless your nickname is Dr. Pangloss. 

Weekly jobless claims were 529,000 versus estimates of 537,000.This is still a very high number, but the good news (actually just farless bad) is that this was lower than the last week and that is thefirst decline in the number in some time.  The prior week’s report of542,000 preliminary weekly jobless claims was revised a tad higher to543,000.

Personal income and spending showed a gain of +0.3% on personal incomeand a drop of -0.1% in spending.  Expectations were for a gain of +0.1%on personal income and spending decline of -0.9%.

October Durable Goods came out at a whopping -6.2% versus expectationsof -2.6%.  As a reminder, this is one of the least consistent and mostvolatile numbers of all economic data on a month-to-month basis.  On anex-transportation basis it was -4.4% and on an ex-defense basis it was-4.6%.

Consensus estimates were from Bloomberg.

Jon C. Ogg
November 26, 2008