The number of unemployed Americans registering for jobless benefits plunged close to a three-month low, while Mid-Atlantic region saw factory activity rebound on March as the economy starts gaining momentum after being negatively impacted by the harsh winter weather.
After home sales hit a one-and-half year low last month, data indicates that sales have started picking up.
“Much of the weakness that we have seen is weather-related and what we are seeing now as the impact dissipates is a much brighter outlook for the U.S. economy,” said Millan Mulraine, a New York-based senior economist at TD Securities to Reuters.
Last week, claims for unemployment benefits rose 5,000 to a seasonally-adjusted figure of 320,000, which was less than what economics had forecasted. The four-week moving average of fresh jobless claims, which strips out volatility in economic conditions, sunk to its lowest in more than three months.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday that extreme winter weather disrupted economic activity to a large extent, and hinted that the economy may rebound. This caused the dollar index and stocks to surge sharply, while the U.S. treasuries marginally declined.
Last week’s data on unemployment claims covered the nonfarm payrolls in March. It stated that claims declined between February and March review period, indicating the possibility of job growth in March.
“The recent level of claims seems to be pointing to a reduction in layoffs and possibly a very strong March employment report. It also points to a decline in the unemployment rate,” said Joel Naroff, a Holland, Pennsylvania-based chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors.
The data on March employment statistics will be released on April 4.
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