SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending Dec. 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 573,000, an increase of 58,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 515,000. The 4-week moving average was 540,500, an increase of 14,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 526,250.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.3 percent for the week ending Nov. 29, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from the prior week’s unrevised rate of 3.1 percent.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Nov. 29 was 4,429,000, an increase of 338,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 4,091,000. The 4-week moving average was 4,133,500, an increase of 130,750 from the preceding week’s revised average of 4,002,750.
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 757,481 in the week ending Dec. 6, an increase of 221,735 from the previous week. There were 423,130 initial claims in the comparable week in 2007.
The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.4 percent during the week ending Nov. 29, an increase of 0.7 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 4,490,760, an increase of 837,333 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.0 percent and the volume was 2,623,051.
Treasury concludes no evidence of currency manipulation even though its own report suggests otherwise:
The gap between the real exchange rate and its equilibrium level remains wide and the renminbi remains substantially undervalued, according to a number of estimates. Despite a cyclical slowdown in China’s major trading partners, China’s large external surpluses continue to grow. In the first ten months of 2008, China’s global trade balance grew to a record high of $216 billion, with exports growing by 22 percent over the same period in 2007. Imports grew by 30.7 percent in the first half of 2008 from the first half of 2007, in part due to rising import prices, but import growth in the second half of 2008 has decelerated on a monthly basis, down to a sixteen-month low of 15.6 percent in October versus October 2007. China’s global trade surplus in the first three quarters of 2008 declined slightly to $181 billion (6.6 percent of GDP) from $186.1 billion (9 percent of GDP) in the first three quarters of 2007. However, it remains large compared to global trade surpluses of $109.7 billion in the first three quarters of 2006 and $68.5 billion in the first three quarters of 2005.
In the introductory summary, Treasury concluded:
Treasury has not found that any major trading partner of the United States met the standards identified in Section 3004 of the Act during the reporting period, January 2008 – June 2008
The report was release today, over half-a year late. It is worth reading carefully.