Views of a solid economic growth pace in the 4Q for the United States were reinforced after new U.S. claims for jobless benefits dipped last week and consumer spending increased in November for a fifth straight month.
The data also demonstrated gains in orders for a range of long-lasting manufactured goods and in new home sales last month.
“The data releases today support our estimate that GDP growth probably accelerated to between 3.5 percent and 4.0 percent annualized in the fourth quarter,” said Paul Ashworth, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics in Toronto.
Initial jobless claims fell 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 420,000, the Labor Department said, matching economists’ expectations.
A separate report from the Commerce Department showed spending rose 0.4 percent after increasing by an upwardly revised 0.7 percent in October.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, to rise 0.5 percent last month after a previously reported 0.4 percent gain in October.
Prices for U.S. government debt were trading down, while stocks on Wall Street were flat. The U.S. dollar was flat against a basket of currencies.
In another report, the Commerce Department said orders for long-lasting manufactured goods excluding transportation increased 2.4 percent, the largest increase since March, after a 1.9 percent drop in October.
But overall orders dropped by a larger-than-expected 1.3 percent last month, dragged down by a plunge in bookings for civilian aircraft and motor vehicles.
Pierre Ellis, a senior economist at Decision Economics in New York, said, “Durable goods orders were reassuring in that we saw a manufacturing plateau over the summer and while the number released today was not strong, at least it showed some resilience in terms of capital goods orders apart from aircraft.”
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