Unemployment Claim Numbers Deliver Pleasant Surprise
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Initial unemployment claims dropped by 20K to 268K for the week ending March 28, a surprisingly steep decrease that augurs well for sustained labor market growth. Economists had predicted 285K claims to be filed. The more dependable four-week moving average also fell, by 14.75K, to 285K. The news comes as welcome reiief amid other recent data suggesting tepid first quarter growth and sluggish consumer spending, both thanks in part to winter's wallop. [Reuters]