In the week ended the 24th of September, US initial jobless claims dropped sharply, while the consensus was looking for only a slight decline. Initial claims dropped by 37 000, from an upwardly revised 428 000 to 391 000. The less volatile four-week moving average fell from 422 250 to 417 000. The Labour Department added that there were no special factors in the data, but the fall in claims might be due to mistiming in seasonal factors. Continuing claims, which are reported with an extra week lag, came out close to expectations. In the week ended the 17th of September, continuing claims dropped from an upwardly revised 3 749 000 to 3 729 000. The Hurricane Irene added to the volatility in the previous weeks and that was probably the driving factor after the high claims in the previous weeks and sharp drop now.
The third estimate of US Q2 GDP showed an upward revision from 1.0% Q/Q (an-nualized) to 1.3% Q/Q (annualized), while a figure of 1.2% Q/Q was expected. The details show a significant upward revision in personal consumption (0.7% Q/Q from 0.4% Q/Q) and a bigger positive contribution from net exports. Both residential (4.2% Q/Q from 3.4% Q/Q) and non-residential (10.3% Q/Q from 9.9% Q/Q) investment were upwardly revised, but the impact on GDP was minor. The drag from inventories was somewhat higher than previously estimated. Overall the revisions are slightly encouraging, but the data are already outdated and therefore less important for markets. Also the outlook for Q3 doesn’t change with this revision.