7:52am

Thu June 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Rose Last Week; Consumer Prices Fell In May

The number of unemployed Americans who filed first-time claims for jobless benefits rose by 6,000 last week from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reported this morning.

It says there were 386,000 first-time filings, up from a revised 380,000 (earlier, the agency had estimated there were 377,000 first-time clams in the week ended June 2).

Claims have basically been ranging between 360,000 and 400,000 a week since last fall. As Bloomberg News says, they're "another sign the labor market is struggling to improve."

Also this morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that consumer prices fell 0.3 percent in May from April. The decline is not a surprise, given the sharp drop in gasoline prices recently. The bureau says its gasoline index dropped 6.8 percent last month.

The morning's third economic indicator:

"The U.S. current account trade deficit widened in the first three months to the largest imbalance since late 2008, reflecting a big increase in imports in oil, cars and machinery and a drop in U.S. earnings on overseas investments," The Associated Press writes. "The Commerce Department says the deficit in the current account, the broadest measure of trade, jumped 15.7 percent to $137.3 billion, up from $118.7 billion in the final three months of last year."

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