US Jobless Claims Rise Slightly, GDP Tops Expectations Ahead Of Fed's November Interest Rate Decision

Zinger Key Points
  • Jobless claims increased by 3,000 for the week ending Oct. 22 to 217,000.
  • GDP increased at a 2.6% annualized rate in the third quarter.

U.S. initial jobless claims ticked higher last week, but came in below economist estimates and still remain near historically low levels.

The Jobless Number: Jobless claims increased by 3,000 for the week ending Oct. 22 to 217,000 from an unrevised level of 214,000 in the prior week, according to data the Labor Department released Thursday.

The number came in below average economist estimates of 220,000.

The previous week's level of 214,000 was left unchanged. The four-week moving average was 219,000, an increase of 6,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 212,250.

Continuing claims jumped to 1.438 million in the week ended Oct.15, an increase of 55,000 from the previous week's revised level.

Q3 GDP Estimate Beats Expectations: The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis also reported an advanced estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) on Thursday showing that U.S. economic growth rebounded last quarter.

GDP increased at a 2.6% annualized rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said. The number came in above average economist estimates for a 2.4% increase. In the second quarter, GDP decreased 0.6%.

Related Link: Why Real GDP Forecasts Are Coming In Higher Than Expected

Why It Matters: The SPDR S&P 500 SPY traded higher following the release premarket Thursday.

The Federal Reserve will be paying close attention as it attempts to tame inflation near its highest levels in more than 40 years. The Fed's continued rate hikes are expected to eventually slow the economy and spur layoffs, but the labor market continues to show resiliency.

Last month, the Fed raised its benchmark rate by 0.75% for the third straight time and indicated that it will continue to hike interest rates.

The 0.75% rate hike brought the target fed funds rate up to a new range between 3% and 3.25%, the highest levels seen since before the 2008 financial crisis.

There are two monetary policy decisions left on the horizon in 2022. Most are expecting the Fed to hike rates by another 0.75% at its upcoming meeting on Nov. 2. The central bank's final policy meeting of the year is slated for Dec. 14.

In a press conference following the most recent decision on rates, Fed Chair Jerome Powell reaffirmed the central bank's commitment to bringing inflation back down to its 2% goal. 

"Restoring price stability is essential to set the stage for achieving maximum employment and stable prices over the longer run. We will keep at it until we're confident the job is done," Powell said.

SPY Price Action: The SPY was up 0.25% at $382.97 Thursday morning, according to Benzinga Pro.

Photo via Shutterstock. 

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