In the US the seasonally adjusted data for unemployment insurance weekly claims came out.
In the week ending March 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 187,000, a decrease of 28,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since September 6, 1969 when it was 182,000. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 214,000 to 215,000. The 4-week moving average was 211,750, a decrease of 11,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 223,000 to 223,250.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.0 percent for the week ending March 12, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 12 was 1,350,000, a decrease of 67,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since January 3, 1970 when it was 1,332,000. The previous week’s level was revised down by 2,000 from 1,419,000 to 1,417,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,431,500, a decrease of 31,000 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since February 28, 1970 when it was 1,421,000. The previous week’s average was revised down by 500 from 1,463,000 to 1,462,500.
Across the pond in the UK Retail sales volumes fell by 0.3% in February 2022 following a rise of 1.9% (unrevised) in January 2022; sales volumes were 3.7% above their pre-February 2020 levels.
Non-store retailing sales volumes fell by 4.8% over the month following strong growth in December (2.7%) and January (4.0%); sales volumes were 33.2% above their pre-February 2020 levels.
Food store sales volumes fell by 0.2% in February 2022 with large falls in alcohol and tobacco stores, which may be linked to higher spending in pubs and restaurants as confidence increased in going out; food store sales volumes were 0.1% below pre-February 2020 levels.
Non-food stores sales volumes rose by 0.6% in February 2022 with growth in clothing (13.2%) and department stores (1.3%), with wider socialising and the return to the office following the lifting of Plan B restrictions at the end of January potential factors; these increases were partly offset by falls in other non-food stores (negative 7.0%) and household goods stores (negative 2.5%) with some retailers suggesting the stormy weather during the month had impacted footfall.
Automotive fuel sales volumes rose by 3.6% in February 2022 as the lifting of Plan B restrictions in England at the end of January 2022 increased travel; sales volumes were above pre-February 2022 levels (0.9%) for the first time.
The proportion of retail sales online fell to 27.8% in February 2022, its lowest proportion since March 2020 (22.7%), continuing a broad downward trend since its peak in February 2021 (37.7%).