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Weekly claims lower than expected

In a departure from the behavior of most economic statistics of late (when reports were not as good as expected), weekly unemployment claims in the latest period were a bit lower than expected (457K vs. 463K).  The 4-week average move up a bit, but the trend since January is downward-sloping (though not by much—see second chart). The pace of improvement may be disappointingly slow, but the economy nevertheless continues to strengthen.


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