Durable goods orders did pretty well. Will first time jobless claims continue the trend, giving us something optimistic to look at while we wait for Libya's burgeoning civil war to sink all of Africa into (more) chaos and turmoil (and wrecking BP's oil exploration deal in the process)?
Well, the Econoday-surveyed analysts seem to think so. If you recall, last week gave us seasonally-adjusted 410k new jobless claims, dead on what was expected. The analysts are looking for some improvement on that, calling for first time claims to fall to 405,000.
And the US Department of Labor does not dissapoint. In fact, they're telling the analysts that they were far too conservative. The first time claims for the week ending 2/12 were adjusted upwards to 413,000 - not great, but not terrible. On the other hand, they are reporting only 391,000 seasonally-adjusted claims for the week ending 2/19. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment level was revised upward for 2/12 to 3,947.500 (from 3,911,000), and for 2/19 they are reporting a level of 3,892,750 (an improvement from either the advance or the revised figures).
Things still aren't bad if you look at the unadjusted numbers. Unadjusted first time claims for 2/19 came in at 383,998 (down from last weeks 421,713), and the unadjusted insured unemployment level came in at 4,536,884 (down from last week's 4,544,310). As always, there are no figures indicating how many of the people that fell out of the insured unemployment level did so because they found work, and how many fell out because they have exhausted their benefits.
 A decrease of 7,426. Rather a drop in the bucket. Although the DoL must have adjusted the unadjusted level, because they are claiming a decrease of 35,422. They just don't say that they did.