Economic Numbers

7:29am

Tue March 27, 2012

8:25am

Fri March 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Existing Home Sales Dipped In February, But Ran Well Above Pace Of Year Ago

There was a 0.9 percent drop in sales of existing homes in February from January, the National Association of Realtors reports. But, at an annualized rate of 4.59 million they were still up 8.8 percent from February 2011.

"The market is trending up unevenly," NAR chief economist Lawarence Yun concludes in a statement from the association.

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4:22pm

Thu March 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Or Maybe They're Just Throwing Darts

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 5:14 pm

Lana Turner, center, is an interested listener as actress Ava Gardner leans over her to chat with Fernando Lamas, who is famous for saying, "It's better to look good, than feel good."
AP

Why do economists keep getting it wrong?

For months, the job market's strength has been exceeding economists' predictions. It happened again today: the Labor Department's weekly report on first-time jobless claims came in at just 348,000 — the lowest level in four years.

Most economists had predicted about 355,000 people had applied for unemployment benefits in the week ended March 17. So why do they keep missing the mark?

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6:36am

Thu March 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Dropped By 5,000 Last Week

There were 348,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits last week, down 5,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

At that level, weekly claims remain the lowest they've been since March 2008.

The agency also said "the 4-week moving average was 355,000, a decrease of 1,250 from the previous week's revised average of 356,250."

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6:35am

Fri March 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Consumer Prices Rose 0.4 Percent Last Month

Consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in February from January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported. The increase — the largest in the past 10 months — was mostly fueled by higher prices for gasoline.

Excluding the food and energy sectors, prices rose 0.1 percent. That's a sign that the so-called core rate of inflation remains in check.

According to BLS:

-- Gas prices spiked 6 percent last month and were up 12.6 percent from February 2011.

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