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Weekly claims decline more than expected

The good news just keeps piling up, but the mood of the market remains depressed. First time claims for unemployment last week fell by much more than expected, to 466,000. Claims are now down over 30% from the high reached last March. If claims were to continue to decline at last week's rate, the run rate for claims would reach a "normal" level of about 325,000 before the end of this year. Not that I expect that, but if this happened it would be rather remarkable, as it would equate to a much more rapid return to normal (only six months) than we saw after the last three recessions, when it took well over a year.

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