Reuters takes a look at the newest economic data and what the short-term future might hold.
U.S. economic growth increased at its fastest in a year in the third quarter as consumers and businesses set aside fears about the recovery and stepped up spending, creating momentum that could carry into the final three months of the year.
Though part of the increase came from the reversal of temporary factors that had restrained growth, the expansion was a welcome relief for an economy that looked on the brink of recession just weeks ago.Speaking of jobs, the Associated Press notes that the number of new jobless claims is down but remains stubbornly high.
Despite the recent declines, applications are stuck above 400,000, where they have been for all but two weeks since March. Applications need to fall consistently below 375,000 to signal sustainable job growth. They haven’t been below that level since February.
Michael Gapen, an economist at Barclays Capital, said the report suggests layoffs have stabilized at the lowest levels since the spring. If growth picks up, it could boost hiring.
“The combination of better growth and a more certain environment could lead to a pickup in hiring in coming months,” he said."Coming months" is still too long a time for people looking for work, of course.