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Number of Americans Applying for Unemployment Falls

The number of individuals applying for unemployment perks fell from a more than two-year high last week, citing the sustained labor market power that ought to continue to underpin consumer spending and the economy.

Whereas other data Thursday showed manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region nearly stalling this month, manufacturers obtained more orders, increased deliveries, and boosted hours for workers. Their scope for capital expenditure over the subsequent six months was definite, offering some tentative signals of stabilization in production amid an easing in tensions in the 17-month trade warfare between the U.S. and China.

The trade spats have bruised business confidence and weighed on capital expenditure, resulting in a downturn in national manufacturing exercise. However, a turnaround in manufacturing, which accounts for 11% of the economy, may very well be delayed. Boeing declared Monday it would halt production of its best-selling 737 MAX aircraft in January as fallout from two fatal crashes of the now-grounded plane drags into 2020.

Economists estimated that Boeing’s greatest meeting-line halt in over two decades, which is anticipated to wreak destruction on supply chains, might reduce first-quarter 2020 GDP growth by at the least half a percentage point.

Preceding claims for state unemployment benefits declined 18,000 to a seasonally modified 234,000 for the week ended December 14, the Labor Division stated.

The fall, which only partially unwound the prior week’s leap of 49,000, likely doesn’t point out a material shift in labor market conditions as claims data tend to be unstable in the interval following the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

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