The 3k U.S. initial claims rise to 244k
The 3k U.S. initial claims rise to 244k in the first week of August reversed a 5k drop to 240k to leave a fairly neutral start for the month, as claims have trended sideways since June with little in the way of auto retooling distortions. Claims are entering August near prior averages of 242k in July, 243k in June, 241k in May, and 243k in April. Next week's BLS survey week figure looks poised to lie near recent BLS survey weak readings of 234k in July, 242k in June, 233k in May, and 243k in April. Our 190k August nonfarm payroll estimate lies below the 209k July rise and 194k Q2 average, but above the 184k average in 2017 and the 187k average in 2016. Payrolls face ongoing upside risk from still-firm consumer, producer, and small business confidence despite Q2 drop-backs, and analysts've seen a solid 217k average ADP rise in 2017 despite the lean 178k July increase. The tightening path in claims stalled through the auto retooling period however, and vehicle sales and assemblies have remained weak since a big drop in Q1.