CHICAGO — Helping to ring in a better new year are the Federal Reserve Board, the nation’s unemployment numbers and job growth, mortgage applications, and pending home sales.
ALL BUT ONE OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICTS reported an increase in economic activity in a report filed Nov. 30. The districts saw a slow to moderate upward trend in consumer spending, with the strongest upticks occurring in vehicle sales and tourism dollars. Manufacturing activity and overall bank lending also increased slightly.
THE NOVEMBER JOBLESS RATE was down to 8.6%, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, with an estimated 120,000 jobs added—that’s the fifth month in a row to post 100,000 or more new jobs, a first since April 2006. However, a downswing in wages slightly offset that good news.
The department reports a decrease in the weekly seasonally adjusted unemployment claims in the week ending Dec. 3, as the number went to 381,000 from the previous week’s revised number of 404,000.