The 2k U.S. initial claims drop to 236k
The 2k U.S. initial claims drop to 236k in the first week of December extends the 2k drop to 238k in the week of Thanksgiving and 12k decline to 240k in the BLS survey week from 252k in the week of Veteran's Day. Claims have reversed some of October's post-hurricane tightness, but remain above the 44-year low of 223k in October's BLS survey week. Analysts expect tight claims into Q1 with rebuilding and an improved economic backdrop, alongside holiday volatility that begins on Veteran's Day and extends through January's MLK weekend. Claims averaged 242k in November, which is above the super-lean 233k October average but below the hurricane-boosted 269k average in September, versus similar prior averages of 246k in August, and 242k in July. The 240k November BLS survey week reading exceeds the 223k October figure but falls short of the hurricane-lifted 260k BLS survey week reading in September. Analysts expect a stronger than consensus 260k November nonfarm payroll rise, with upside risk despite the modest November rise in claims due to robust consumer, producer, and small business confidence with disaster rebuilding.