While today’s jobless claims were down 44,000 from last week’s revised 478,000, the number was still not good. Analysts were expecting it to fall to 420-425,000. For job growth, this number needs to be at 350K and below for the economy to add jobs that will cut into the 9% unemployment rate.
Stuart Varney of Fox Business notes that “big layoffs are coming at the state levels as states are broke and have to handle huge deficits by laying off people.” He sees “an avalanche of layoffs at the state level this summer.”
The Producer Price Index (PPI) was out this morning. It measures inflation. While analysts had expectations of .6%, it came in at up .8%. Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge explains, “this confirms that delayed downstream inflation effects will plague the economy for a long time.”
Also troubling was the retail sales report. It was expected to be .6%; it came in at .5%, the smallest jump in nine months. If you strip out car and gas sales, the rate was only up a token .2%.
Adding to the woes was continuing claims which edged up.
All in all, not a pretty picture.