The Obama administration has to be breathing a sigh of relief after seeing Thursday morning's jobless claims numbers. After last week's jump in jobless claims was followed by a disappointing nonfarm labor report for September, a second consecutive increase in weekly claims would have been a distressing sign that the labor market was headed back in the wrong direction.
Instead, new claims fell by 33,000 to 521,000 (a ten-month low) in the week ended Oct 3, and the four week moving average fell by 9000, to 548,750. Both numbers are very close to the lows for the year so far, registered back in January. The trend line, once again, is unmistakably pointed down.
The Wall Street Journal also reported that U.S. retailers are announcing "higher than expected" same store sales.