Initial Claims decreased by 5,000 for the week ending 03/13 to 457,000, better than the expected decrease to 458,000. The 4-week moving average fell to 471,250, from the previous week’s revised average of 475,500. Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment from the prior week, ending on 03/06, was 4,579,000, an increase of 12,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 4,567,000. Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate from the week ending on 03/06, was 3.5%, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised figure of 3.5%.

The Consumer Price Index was unchanged in February at 216.741 (1982-84=100), less than the expected increase by 0.1%,after increasing by 0.2% in January and 0.4% in December of 2009. Over the year the CPI has increased by 2.1%.  The food index increased by 0.1% in February and is down by 0.2% over the year.  Energy Prices decreased by 0.5% in February but are up 14.4% over the year.  Excluding food and energy prices, the Core CPI increased by 0.1% in February and has advanced by 1.3% over the year.

The Leading Indicators Index increased by 0.1% in February to 107.6 (2004=100).  The Coincident Index increased by 0.1%  to 100.1 (2004=100) and the Lagging Index increased by 0.3%. to 108.0 (2004=100).

Upcoming Releases
Existing Home Sales (3/23 at 10:00 AM EST)
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