More Americans than forecast filed first-time jobless claims last week and consumer confidence fell, highlighting Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s concern that the slowdown in the economy may persist.
Applications for unemployment benefits increased 9,000 in the week ended June 18 to 429,000, Labor Department figures showed today. The level of claims exceeded the highest estimate in a Bloomberg News survey in which the median projection called for 415,000 filings. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped to minus 44.9 last week from minus 44.
After dipping below 400,000 for a brief time, claims have remained about 400,000 for too long. Here's the chart: