Home >> Author Archives: Mark Lieberman (page 31)

Author Archives: Mark Lieberman

Mark Lieberman is the former Senior Economist at Fox Business Network. He is now Managing Director and Senior Economist at Economics Analytics Research. He can be heard each Friday on The Morning Briefing on POTUS on Sirius-XM Radio 124.

Initial Unemployment Claims Rise For Third Straight Week

According to data released today by the U.S. Department of Labor, first time claims for unemployment insurance rose 8,000 in the week ended March 2. The report marks the third straight weekly increase, following revisions to earlier statistics. Continuing claims, reported on a one-week lag, increased 10,000 to hit 3,416,000, representing the second straight weekly increase. The four week moving average for initial claims edged up modestly to 355,000 from 354750 while the average for continuing claims fell.

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Initial, Continuing Unemployment Claims Fall Again

First-time claims for unemployment insurance edged down by 2,000 for the week ended February 25, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Data for the previous week were revised upward, turning a flat report into an increase in initial claims. The revision means claims rose and did not decline during the week used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its month survey for the unemployment rate. Continuing claims, reported on a one-week lag, fell 2,000 to 3,402,000 as the numbers for the previous week were also revised upward.

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Beige Book Sees Continuing Economic Improvement


Overall economic activity continued to increase at a modest to moderate pace in January and early February, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday in the Beige Book. The report ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô an anecdotal review of conditions in each of the 12 Federal Reserve districts ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô showed economic improvement varying across the country. Residential real estate activity increased modestly in most parts of the country, while home prices declined or held steady in many areas. Reports on banking conditions were generally positive across the country. Demand for residential mortgage loans increased in New York and Richmond.

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GDP Marches to 3% in Q4, Beating Forecasts

Real GDP ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô increased at an annual rate of 3.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, the Labor Department said Wednesday. In its initial report on fourth quarter GDP, the agency had said the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós economy grew at a 2.8 percent pace. Economists had forecast no change in the advance GDP estimate issued last month. Housing grew at an 11.5 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter, its fastest growth rate since the second quarter of 2010 when it grew at a 22.8 percent rate.

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Initial Claims Flat While Continuing Claims Fall Lower

First time claims for unemployment insurance were unchanged at 351,000 for the week ended February 18, following upward adjustments for numbers recorded the previous week which represented a four-year record low. The U.S. Department of Labor also reported that continuing claims fell 52,000 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the fourth drop observed during the first six weeks of the year. Total claims including emergency and extended federal programs fell 178,619 to 7,502,791 for the period, while extended claims ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô based on individual state unemployment rates ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô increased.

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Existing-Home Sales Up in January as Prices Fall: NAR

Existing-home sales rose in January for the third time in the last four months, according to the National Association of Realtors. January sales ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô completed transactions ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô were up 4.3 percent from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million. December├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós total was revised downward to 4.38 million from 4.61 million. The January 2012 sales pace was up 0.7 percent from January 2011. The median price of an existing-home was $154,700 in January, down 2.0 percent from January 2011, falling to lows from 2001.

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Continuing, Initial Unemployment Claims Fall Again

First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell 13,000 for the week ending February 11 to 348,000 to the lowest level since March 2008, the Labor Department said Thursday. Continuing claims, reported on a one-week lag, fell as well, dropping 100,000 to 3,426,000, the lowest level since August 2008. The drop in initial claims was the third consecutive weekly decline; in that period first-time claims have fallen 31,000, or about 8 percent. The total number of individuals receiving benefits ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô including emergency and extended programs ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô rose slightly for the week ended January 28.

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Housing Starts, Permits Up in January as Completions Drop

Housing starts rose 1.5 percent in January to 699,000, compared with market expectations for a smaller increase to 675,000. Housing starts are 9.9 percent above their year ago level but still 69.2 percent below their January 2006 peak. Single-family housing starts fell 1.0 percent to 508,000. Starts fell month-month in the colder northeast and Midwest but increased in the south and west. Single-family starts are 16.2 percent above levels of a year ago but still 72.1 percent below their January 2006 peak. Single-family starts have averaged 491,000 per month.

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Housing Market Index Highest in Nearly Five Years: NAHB

The National Home Builders Association released a housing market index that improved to 29 in February, its highest level since May 2007, with all three of the components showing new strength. The trade group said that it was the fifth consecutive monthly increase, the longest stretch of consecutive monthly increases since April- October 1995. The current conditions index rose to 30, a five-point jump, the largest month-over-month gain since April 2010. The forecast component, assessing conditions six months out.

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