Pete Wargent blogspot

CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Friday, 3 April 2015

US jobless claims decline to 268,000 - which is close to the 267,000 seen in the week of January 24 - which was the lowest since April 2000

Initial claims decline


OK I admit that this is not quite the impactful "lowest in 15 years!" header I was gunning for.

Still, 'twas a jolly good result, and rather better than forecasts.

Seasonally adjusted US initial jobless claims - seen to be a worthwhile proxy for redundancies - fell by 20,000 to 268,000 in the week to March 28, which beat market estimates of 285,000.

In the week of January 24 initial jobless claims had been marginally lower at 267,000, thereby spoiling the "lowest in 15 years" party.

But let's not get bogged down in all that again.

The key point is that this was a robust result and represents a further wedge of evidence that the US economic recovery remains on track.

I look at some of other key measures such as the latest Non-Farm Payrolls and the JOLTS index here previously, which also indicated strong momentum in the labor market.

"Pushing on a string..."

There has been plenty of discussion in recent weeks about whether the Reserve Bank in Australia should cut interest rates further, with plenty of folk suggesting that lower interest rates won't do any good.

I'm not sure what the evidence is for this, though.

Stimulatory monetary policy in the US and the UK, for example, has clearly worked, despite taking a good deal of time to do so.

There may even be some evidence around, if one is prepared to look for it, that lower interest rates may already be biting to some extent in Australia, although that substance is admittedly somewhat sketchy.

Anyway, regardless of what I or anyone else thinks, cash rate futures markets are pricing in a cut for Tuesday and another by Q3.

Implied yields on Q1 2016 cash rate futures contracts have ground out new lows of below 1.6 per cent.