Initial Jobless Claims stabilizing at slightly lower level

Initial jobless claims this week reported at 623,000. Last week's number revised 5,000 higher.

This means the 4-week moving average is essentially unchanged, at a lower level than at any time in the last 3 months.

It also increases the odds, per the work of Prof. James Hamilton, that jobless claims for this recession have peaked, and the recession itself (in terms of GDP decline) may be very close to bottoming.

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growth? Questionable

I'm thinking more they have run out of people to fire temporarily. ;)

Here is durable goods, which increased 1.9%, but it's all still pretty bad stats.

Add to that these "proclamations" that America has to get "used to it" 8% or more unemployment and only 2% GDP growth and maybe this time we're stuck at the bottom of the well.

I'm just not optimistic this recession would be "normal".

CBO testimony on economic recovery

Missed this (and jez I only try to put the government blogs on the right hand column so we get the juice straight from the source!) CBO on recovery.

Now, note their claims on "Stimulus", which we have been highly critical of in terms of not being funneled abroad or to enable more outsourcing, etc.

So far that has not materialized.

But they are predicting a "Recovery" with all sorts of further bad news, including a total 7% GDP "gap" in terms of what the economy should be doing at full output.

I'm wondering now about the CBOs track record in terms of projected vs. actual. Now I assuredly think they are a critical reference point, although I prefer the GAO in terms of gut wrenching statistics and accuracy, but wouldn't it be interesting to see a graph of major projections vs. actual?

I do know the BLS "occupational growth outlook" is consistently wrong.