U.S. Jobless Claims Rise Marginally Factory Orders Decline
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, while renewed job cuts in the energy sector boosted layoffs announced by U.S.-based employers in July.Despite the increases, the labor market remains healthy and will probably continue to support economic growth for the rest of this year. While other data on Thursday showed orders for factory goods fell for a second straight month in June, largely on weak demand for transportation equipment, there were signs spending cuts in the energy sector were easing.
“The data do indicate the economy and the labor market are improving. It appears that the collapse in the energy sector is ending. For two months now, new orders for mining and oil and gas field equipment were up,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania.Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 269,000 for the week ended July 30, the Labor Department said. Economists had forecast initial claims slipping to 265,000 in the latest week.
Claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with a strong labor market, for 74 consecutive weeks, the longest streak since 1973. With the labor market perceived to be either at or approaching full employment, there is probably limited scope for further declines in claims.The dollar gained versus a basket of currencies, surging against the British pound after the Bank of England cut interest rates and resumed bond purchases in a move aimed at mitigating the impact of the country’s vote to exit the European Union.
Longer-dated U.S. Treasuries rallied and stocks on Wall Street were trading higher.Claims tend to be volatile around this time of the year when automobile manufacturers typically idle assembly lines for retooling. Some, however, keep production running, which can throw off the model the government uses to strip out seasonal fluctuations from the data.
Through the gyrations, the trend in claims has remained consistent with jobs market strength. The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, rose 3,750 to 260,250 last week.This level of unemployment claims points to continued very subdued layoff rates at the start of the third quarter,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York.The claims data has no impact on July’s employment report, scheduled to be released on Friday, as it falls outside the survey period. According to a Reuters poll of economists, nonfarm payrolls likely increased by a healthy 180,000 jobs in July after surging 287,000 the prior month. June’s jump in job gains was viewed as unsustainable given anemic economic growth. Labor market strength is boosting consumer spending, which is expected to help the economy regain speed after growth braked to an average 1.0 percent annual rate in the last three quarters.
In separate report, global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas said employers in the U.S. announced plans to shed 45,346 workers from their payrolls in July, a 19 percent increase from June.Though it was the second straight monthly increase, layoffs were 57 percent lower than in July last year. Job cuts in the energy sector surged 796 percent to 17,725 last month.“This was somewhat unexpected in light of recent projections of increased oil prices and possible labor shortages in the industry,” said John Challenger, chief executive officer at Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
In a third report, the Commerce Department said new orders for manufactured goods declined 1.5 percent in June after falling 1.2 percent in May. Orders for machinery gained 0.2 percent, with orders for machinery, oil field and gas field machinery soaring 207.9 percent after vaulting 139.1 percent in May.Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft increased 0.4 percent in June instead of the 0.2 percent gain reported last month. These so-called core capital goods are seen as a measure of business confidence and equipment spending.
An outright drop in inventories and sustained weakness in business spending weighed on GDP growth in the second quarter, with output rising at a tepid 1.2 percent annualized rate after increasing at a 0.8 percent pace in the first three months of the year.The advance growth estimate reported last week could be revised to about a 1.0 percent pace, economists said, as the factory orders report showed lower nondurable goods inventories in June than the government had assumed in the GDP report.Factory goods dipped 0.1 percent in June. Inventories have declined in 13 of the last 14 months. Shipments increased 0.7 percent. That lowered the inventories-to-shipments ratio to 1.35 from 1.36 in May.
Clintons Lead Over Trump Narrows To Less Than Three Points
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s lead over Republican rival Donald Trump narrowed to less than 3 percentage points, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Friday, down from nearly eight points on Monday.About 42 percent of likely voters favored Clinton, to Trump’s 39 percent, according to the July 31-Aug. 4 online poll of 1,154 likely voters. The poll had a credibility interval of plus or minus 3 percentage points, meaning that the results suggest the race is roughly even.Among registered voters over the same period, Clinton held a lead of five percentage points, down from eight percentage points on Monday, according to the poll.The reasons behind the shift were unclear.
Clinton had pulled well ahead of Trump on the heels of the Democratic National Convention last week, where she became the first woman to accept the U.S. presidential nomination from a major political party.Since then, Trump has engaged in a days-long feud with the family of an American soldier killed in Iraq and squabbled with the Republican leadership over his comments and leadership turmoil within his campaign.
Trump, in recent days, however, has sought to refocus. On Friday he announced his economic policy advisory team, said he would deliver an economic policy speech early next week, and was expected to endorse U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the top U.S. elected Republican, who is seeking his 10th term in Congress.An average of polls aggregated by Real Clear Politics showed Clinton ahead of Trump by 6.8 percentage points on Friday, up from 3.9 on Aug. 1.
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Over a Million Taxpayers Set to Lose Unclaimed 2012 Refunds
More than 1 million taxpayers risk losing refunds if they don\\\'t finally submit their 2012 federal tax returns by next month.USA Today reports the late-filers have to put in the paperwork if they want their share of the more than $950 million-plus in unclaimed refunds.\\\"The clock is ticking for taxpayers who didn\\\'t file a 2012 federal income tax return, leaving nearly $1 billing in refunds unclaimed,\\\" IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a statement, USA Today reports.
\\\"We especially encourage students and others who didn\\\'t earn much money to look into this situation because they may still be entitled to a refund.\\\"
Federal law gives most taxpayers a three-year window to claim an IRS refund. If they miss the deadline, the money goes into the Treasury. For 2012 tax returns, the window closes April 18 — and a day later for taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts.The IRS estimates $718 is the midpoint for potential refunds for 2012 – meaning half are worth more, and half are worth less.
Devaswom Board says no ban on fireworks in temple festivals
Thiruvananthapuram: Amid growing clamour for ban on temple fireworks display in Kerala in wake of Kollam temple fire tragedy, the Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages about 1,255 temples in the state, Monday said it was not for a complete ban on such displays.Prayar Goapalakrishnan, President of TDB, said the board was against banning the pyrotechnics during temple festivals as they are part of rituals.“But it should be as per the restrictions of government and court orders with sufficient safety measures”, he told PTI.
“In various temples fireworks display is part of temple rituals and we cannot ban it”, he said.The board has issued an urgent circular to all temples under it, directing that the fireworks display be carried out only in compliance with rules and regulations.
Board member Ajay Tharayil, however, said he was in favour of a ‘total ban’ on major fireworks.
Meanwhile, Prof M Kutty, president of the Thiruvambadi Devaswom, one of the organisers of the famous Thrissur Pooram to be held on April 17 said, “We will be conducting the festival, observing all legal formalities“. The fireworks festivities cannot be cancelled, he said, adding it was an age-old tradition.Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had said yesterday that the government could impose regulations on the display of fireworks, but cannot ban them.
“In the name of rituals and traditions, we have limitations. We can regulate them (display of fireworks) but not ban them”, he said.
Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister A. K. Antony said government “should” consider the possibility of banning fireworks display in the light of the tragedy.A devastating fire had engulfed the 100-year-old Puttingal Devi Temple complex near here during an unauthorised display of fireworks yesterday, leaving 109 dead.
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായങ്ങള് താഴെ എഴുതാവുന്നതാണ്.
ദയവായി അവഹേളനപരവും വ്യക്തിപരമായ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങളും അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങളും ഒഴിവാക്കുക.
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായ പ്രകടനങ്ങള്ക്കോ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങള്ക്കോ അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങള്ക്കോ 24ന്യൂസ്ലൈവ്.കോം , അമ്മത്തൊട്ടിൽ.കോം ഉത്തരവാദിയായിരിക്കില്ല.