For still another week, initial jobless claims continued their recent downtrend.
Initial claims declined -16,000 to 193,000, a 5 month low. The 4 week average also declined -8,750 to a new 4 month low of 207,000. Continuing claims, which lag somewhat, declined -29,000 to a 2.5 month low of 1,347,000:
The downtrend of the past 2 months is almost certainly a positive side-effect of lower gas prices. According to GasBuddy, gas prices have increased in the past 10 days. If gas prices stabilize, I expect jobless claims to do so as well.
But this is good news and very much at odds with the idea that the US is currently in a recession.