The weekly number was the best it's been since July, a month whose claims figures were distorted by seasonal adjustments related to expected temporary layoffs in the auto industry that were considerably lower than in the past.
For state and emergency federal extended programs, the total number of Americans claiming benefits for the week ending Sept. 8 was 5,173,586, a decrease of 11 from the previous week. Last year, 6,983,307 people were claiming benefits in all programs for the comparable.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported its third and final estimate of seasonally adjusted growth in gross domestic product on an annualized basis for the second quarter was a weak 1.3 percent. That is down from the 1.7 percent and 1.5 percent reported jn the August and July estimates, respectively. The third estimate is based on better data than were available for the August and July estimates.
Growth in gross domestic product for the first quarter was 2 percent. In December and January, many analysts had forecast that GDP growth would fall in the 2.5-3.0 percent range for all of 2012.
The revision came about mostly as a consequence of lower rates of consumer and business spending than the earlier estimates had shown. Residential construction spending was also less than had been estimated previously.
The increase in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected positive contributions frompersonal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, nonresidential fixed investment, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.In a third report released today by the Census Bureau, orders for durable goods in August fell 13.2 percent, far more than the 5 percent a consensus of experts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected. Durable goods are those meant to last at least three years. The sharp drop, the largest in more than three years, followed three months of modest increases. The bureau revised July orders from an increase of 4.1 percent to an increase of 3.3 percent. Among the reasons for the drop was a decline in civilian aircraft orders and decreased orders for motor vehicles and parts, which fell 10.9 percent.
The deceleration in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected decelerations in PCE, in nonresidential fixed investment, and in residential fixed investment that were partly offset by smaller decreases in federal government spending and in state and local government spending and an acceleration in exports.
The durable goods report reflected decreased activity in the manufacturing sector of the economy that has been reported in many regions of the United States the past couple of months.