– by a New Deal Democrat
This morning we got the last economic news of the year as initial claims for the week rose 9,000 to 225,000. The 4-week moving average fell 250 to 221,000. Continuing claims rose 41,000 to 1,710,000.10 -monthly peak:
The weekly number was actually 14,000 higher than a year ago, but not significantly. The 4-week average and ongoing claims remain below year-end levels:
So this series ends the year which is still positive.
At the same time, year-over-year comparisons become more challenging early next week. To reiterate, I will warn of a “yellow flag” if the 4-week moving average turns higher on a yearly basis. I won’t raise a recessionary “red flag” unless and until the average rises 10% or more on a year-over-year basis.