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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

New jobless claims fall but wholesale prices rise

The number of new jobless claims filed last week dropped by 24,000, in line with forecasts, but wholesale inflation in March jumped twice as much as expected and hit its highest level since September 2008, raising fears that consumer prices might start to edge up.

On unemployment, 456,000 new jobless claims were filed last week, down from 480,000 the previous week, an encouraging sign. The number of continuing claims -- a measure of long-term unemployment -- dropped slightly from 4.68 million to 4.65 million.

The wholesale inflation number in March rose 0.7 percent, more than twice what forecasters expected. The hike came largely from the volatile food and energy prices; if you strip those out, the core wholesale inflation number last month rose by only 0.1 percent.

The price culprit in March was vegetables. Higher prices for greens drove the wholesale inflation number higher.

The wholesale price index has risen 6 percent year-over-year, driven higher by a 23 percent surge in fuel prices. Wholesale food prices are up 6.8 percent in the past year.

Forecasters expected the new jobless claims number to come in at 452,000.

The official national unemployment rate stands at 9.7 percent, unchanged for the past two months.

The four-week moving average of new jobless claims -- which smooths out volatility -- rose last week by 2,750 to 460,250.

Economists says that the number of new jobless claims needs to get down into the low 400,000s before the economy can begin to start creating jobs.

Inflation has so far been a non-factor in this economy during the recession and the recovery, and the Federal Reserve says that it expects inflation to remain low through the remainder of the year.

However, today's unexpected jump in wholesale prices may change that, especially if the costs are passed along to consumers and retail inflation starts to creep upward, something that could really put the brakes on this halting recovery.

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By Frank Ahrens  |  April 22, 2010; 8:49 AM ET
Categories:  Data , The Ticker  | Tags: Business, Economy, Energy, Inflation, Moving average, Recession, Twitter, Unemployment  
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Comments

The jobless claims dropped due to benefits expiring because of Congressional fecklessness in regards to unemployment insurance.Also,realistically since millions do not receive benefit the unemployment rate is probably twice the 9.7% that is constantly puppeted.

Posted by: chuckcoley | April 22, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Gee, only 466k new job losses.
Odumbo and dummy Obiden will be all over the airwaves touting their "recovery."
What despicable, dishonest slugs we have running this country.
God help us.

Posted by: LarryG62 | April 22, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

And yet - the Republicans' solution is to criticize Pres. Obama and vote "Hell no!" for jobs and middle class tax cuts.
No thanks! I'm sticking with the Black Guy who's doing a great job combatting Bush's GREAT RECESSION.

Posted by: angie12106 | April 22, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: itkonlyyou23 | April 22, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"And yet - the Republicans' solution is to criticize Pres. Obama and vote "Hell no!" for jobs and middle class tax cuts.
No thanks! I'm sticking with the Black Guy who's doing a great job combatting Bush's GREAT RECESSION.
Posted by: angie12106 | April 22, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse "

the great recession was created for that black guy to get elected...
and you fell for it...

Posted by: DwightCollins | April 22, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"The hike came largely from the volatile food and energy prices; if you strip those out..."

Economists and journalists may wish to "strip those out" but most of us have to spend money on those important items.

Posted by: Bartolo1 | April 22, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

>The number of continuing claims -- a measure >of long-term unemployment -- dropped >slightly from 4.68 million to 4.65 million.

Was this drop a result of people becoming employed or people having exhausted all possible unemployment benefits?

Posted by: kirtu | April 22, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

We need to get Congress to enact Tier 5 for 13 weeks.

Send the message to congress. Unemployment keeps getting worse and worse. They just don't count those that have fallen off.

Please check this out, it sends the message to Washington.

http://www.change.org/petitions/view/the_99ers_need_a_tier_v_added_to_unemployment_benefits

Posted by: Tim_incubator | April 26, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

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