The 9k U.S. initial claims drop to 233k
The 9k U.S. initial claims drop to 233k in the first week of April partly reversed the 24k Good Friday pop to 242k from a lean 218k, leaving gyrations above the 45-year low of 217k at the end of February. The trend in claims remains tight despite the rise into April, as analysts saw in March before a later drop-back. The moving Easter holiday and school breaks often distort claims into early April, so the rise over the last two weeks isn't problematic with this year's slightly early holiday. Claims are entering April above lean 228k average in March, versus a super-lean 224k average in February, and prior averages of 232k in January and 240k in December. Next week's April BLS survey week reading will compare to recent readings of 227k in March, 218k in February, and 226k in January, and 242k in December. Analysts assume a 210k April nonfarm payroll rise, with upside risk from a firm trajectory for ADP through the 241k March rise, robust consumer, producer, and small business confidence, and what is still a tight path for claims despite the recent rise.