Jobless claims reaches a five-month low despite Fed's efforts to slow the labor market

Fed's efforts to slow labor market reach five-month low

September 30, 2022: -Initial filings for unemployment claims decreased in the previous week to their lesser level in five months, an indication that the labor market is strong even as the Federal Reserve attempts to slow things down.

According to a Labor Department report, jobless claims for September 24 totaled 193,000, less than 16,000 from the last week’s downwardly revised total and less than the 215,000 Dow Jones estimate.

The decrease in the claims was the lowest level since April 23, and the first time claims it decreased below 200,000 since early May.

Continuing claims, which run a week behind, decreased from 29,000 to 1.347 million.

The substantial labor numbers come amid Fed efforts to cool the economy and bring down inflation, which runs near its highest levels since the early 1980s. Central bank officials have pointed to the tight labor market and its upward pressure on salaries as a target of the policy tightening.

The personal that consumes expenditures price index, a favorite inflation gauge for the Fed, showed a 7.3% every year price gain in the second quarter, the Commerce Department stated in its final GDP estimate for the period. That was over the 7.1% reading in the prior two Q2 estimates and just off the 7.5% gain in the initial quarter.

Excluding food and energy, core PCE inflation was 4.7%, 0.3 percentage points higher than the last two assessments but less than the 5.6% jump in Q1.

The Fed increased interest rates five times in 2022 for a total of 3 percentage points, and officials are focusing on the importance of continuing to hike until inflation comes closer to the central bank’s 2% target.

However, the Cleveland Fed’s Inflation Nowcasting gauge shows slight improvement on the inflation front, even with a sharp decline in gas prices. The indicator indicates an 8.2% boost in the headline consumer price index and a 6.6% increase in core prices compared to readings of 8.3% and 6.3% in August.

The BEA’s complete estimate for Q2 GDP was a decline of 0.6%, unchanged from the previous two estimates. That was the second quarter of negative GDP, meeting a commonly accepted definition of a recession.

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