Jobless Claims Increase May Support Double-Dip Predictions
Despite recent optimism increased jobless claims suggest looming double dip.
Early today, the Department of Labor released its weekly jobless claims report for the week ending June 4. It shows an increase from the previous week. The figures came as a surprise to many economists who expected the claims to decrease. Several states cite layoffs in the construction and manufacturing sectors as a cause of their higher unemployment numbers. Those assertions may fuel predictions that the economy is heading into a double-dip recession.
The most recent release of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indeces shows a continued decrease in home prices nationally. The index shows a 4.2% decrease in the first quarter of 2011. This on top of a 3.6% decrease in the final quarter of last year. David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices stated that the report was “marked by the confirmation of a double-dip in home prices across much of the nation.” He concluded that home prices “continue on their downward spiral with no relief in sight.” It is expected that home prices may continue to fall as foreclosures which have been backlogged as part of the recent foreclosure documentation controversy are processed.
This news seems at odds with recent predictions that have been generally optimistic. The recent decreases in gas prices have had a positive effect on consumer confidence. According to the Bloomberg Consumer Confidence Index Weekly Report issued today, consumers have been feeling better about the overall state of the economy, and much better about their personal finances.
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