Jobless Claims Spike, Food Prices Jump
No surprise to anyone except the so-called, “analyst forecasters”:
Jobless claims jump, wholesale food costs surge
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. jobless claims jumped to their highest level since October last week while food and energy costs lifted producer prices in December, pointing to headwinds for an economy that has shown fresh vigor.
Fresh vigor? C’mon! Give me a break! If the stimulus package were a Viagra pill, you’d be demanding a full refund with compensation for pain and suffering!
This has got to be the most flaccid “economic recovery” I’ve ever witnessed—which is exactly what I predicted two years ago when Bush and Obama decided to steal taxpayer money in an attempt to artificially inflate the economy.
No matter how Obama’s psychophants, err, sycophants try to spin it, our “economic aircraft“—if you will allow—is still in a spin because of government interference. And, speaking from experience, if you find yourself in a spin, let off the rudder and get your damn hands off of the yoke! If your aircraft is properly trimmed, the aircraft will correct itself.
The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly to 445,000 from 410,000 in the prior week, a Labor Department report showed. It was the biggest one-week jump in about six months and confounded analyst forecasts for a small drop to 405,000.
Confounded analyst forecasts? What’s the problem with these forecasters? I mean, seasonal hiring for Christmas helped reduce the unemployment picture slightly, and now those seasonal holiday workers are out of a job. No surprise there.
The four-week moving average of new claims, which strips out short-term volatility to provide a better sense of underlying trends, rose by 5,500 last week to 416,500.
A separate report from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank showed factory activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region accelerated less in December than originally reported.
Sounds to me like someone tried to spin the numbers…
FOOD GETS PRICIER
As last year drew to a close, food and energy costs were rising briskly at the wholesale level despite a tame underlying inflation trend.
U.S. producer prices climbed 1.1 percent in December after a 0.8 percent rise in November, according to another Labor Department report.
The rising prices producers receive ultimately could put upward pressure on retail prices, acting like a tax on consumers that could slow growth. Up to now, companies have not been able to pass increasing costs onto consumers because of weak demand, but that too has consequences.
“Eventually this means corporate profits could be squeezed,” said Robert Dye, senior economist at PNC Financial Services in Pittsburgh.
Gee, ya’ think?
A recent spike in global food costs has raised fears of a crisis in the poorer corners of the developing world. World food prices hit a record high last month, outstripping the levels that sparked riots in several countries in 2008, and key grains could rise further, the United Nations’ food agency said recently.
The split between weak underlying inflation and high food and energy prices makes it harder for Federal Reserve officials to argue publicly that inflation is not a threat. A fear of inflation being too low has underpinned the Fed’s efforts to support the economy by purchasing government bonds.
Can you say, “Weimar Repulic?”
Another key factor is the bleak jobs picture, not helped by the Labor Department data.
The number of Americans who continued to claim benefits after an initial week of aid did retreat sharply to 3.88 million from 4.13 million, offering some reason for hope.
Still, the total number of Americans on benefit rolls, including those receiving extended benefits under emergency government programs, jumped to 9.19 million from 8.77 million.
Woohoo! More welfare recipients for you and I to support! /sarcasmExplore posts in the same categories: Economics