4/9/21: EconUpdate by P. Duffy

EconUpdate by P. Duffy

Initial unemployment claims rebound 2.2 percent to 744,000

What does this mean?  Unemployment claims remain at about three times their pre-pandemic level, but in general they are continuing to trend down.

In the week ending April 3,initial unemployment claims were 744,000, an increase of 16,000, or 2.2 percent, from the previous week’s revised level.  Continued claims during the week ending March 27 were 3,734,000, a decrease of 16,000, or 0.4 percent, from the previous week’s revised level, to the lowest level since March 21, 2020.  The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending March 20 was 18,164,588, a decrease of 50,862, or 2.0 percent, from the previous week, as PUA claims run out.


Federal Reserve meeting minutes indicates continued wide support of economic rebound

What does this mean?  The Fed will continue its accommodative stance until inflation trends well above 2.0 percent and/or unemployment returns to pre-pandemic levels.

In its meeting on March 16-17, the FOMC decided to maintain the federal funds rate in a target range of 0 to 1/4 percent, continue to increase holdings of treasury, mortgage-backed residential securities and commercial mortgage-backed securities to sustain smooth functioning of these markets.


Consumer credit use rebounds sharply to 7.9 percent in February

What does this mean?  Increasing consumer confidence led to a rapid rebound in credit use from January.

In February, consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7.9 percent. Revolving credit, such as credit cards, increased at an annual rate of 10.1 percent, while nonrevolving credit, such as loans for cars and tuition, increased at an annual rate of 7.3 percent.


Nearly half of Americans planning to move cite natural disasters and extreme temps as reason to relocate

What does this mean? Areas prone to wildfires, extreme weather and sea level rise will lose potential buyers over time.

Nearly half of Americans who plan to move in the next year said extreme temperatures and/or the increasing frequency or intensity of natural disasters played a role in their decision to relocate.  49 percent cited natural disasters, 48 percent cited extreme temperatures, and 36 percent said rising sea levels were a factor.

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