Today's personal income & outlays report points to economic health as do initial jobless claims, down 10,000 in the February 24 week to a lower-than-expected 210,000 for the best reading in 49 years. The 4-week average is at 220,500 and is trending roughly 15,000 lower than the month-ago comparison which points at increasing strength for the February employment report.
Continuing claims, however, did rise 57,000 in lagging data for the February 17 week though the 4-week average is down slightly at a 1.920 million level which is slightly lower than the month-ago comparison. The unemployment rate for insured workers is at a very low 1.4 percent.
Claims are low which means layoffs are minimal and demand for labor strong, further confirmation that the economy is at or very near full employment.