Today’s Economic Numbers

Thursday’s here and that means the weekly jobless claims. For the 16th week, the jobless claims were over 400,000. They came in at 418,000, up from last Thursday’s 405,000. In other words, no improvement.

Making it worse, oil touched $100 a barrel today and is likely to continue upwards.

A report from Bloomberg says that the high gas prices are continuing to hurt the consumer. They are increasingly “using credit cards to pay for basic necessities as income gains fail to keep pace with rising food and fuel prices.” That is not a pretty picture.

The data comes from credit card transaction processor First Data which reported that the dollar volume of charged purchases rose 10.7% in June, according to Zero Hedge blog, a 6.8% increase in the number of transactions. Not a pretty picture.

Bank of America executive Joshua Dennerlein notes the end of the year will see 3.7 million Americans stop receiving jobless benefits. “This will act as a hit to consumption in the first quarter of 2012.”

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