Because of the upcoming holiday, unemployment claims number were released a day early, and while down a bit, it initial claims remain above eight hundred thousand:
The number of workers seeking unemployment benefits fell last week, amid signs the economy is continuing to recover, but at a slowing pace.Additionally, household spending and income dropped in November:
New jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, came in at 803,000 for the week ended Dec. 19, down from an upwardly revised 892,000 the prior week, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.
The latest figures marked a retreat from a three-month high. Still, claims are hovering at their highest levels since recent peaks in September, as states and local municipalities impose fresh restrictions on social and business activity to combat a surge in coronavirus cases.
Household spending dropped for the first time in seven months and layoffs remained elevated as a surge in virus cases weighed on economic recovery.
After going on a shopping spree this summer, consumers closed their wallets last month, cutting spending by 0.4%, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. They cut spending on services such as restaurant meals, as well as purchases of goods, including big-ticket items like cars and appliances.
Household incomes also took a hit as the effects of federal aid programs put in place earlier this year fade. Household income—measuring what Americans received in wages, investment returns and government aid—fell 1.1%, the third drop in four months.
We have been coasting on expired stimulus, and the economy is running out of momentum.