According to the US Department of Labor news release in the week ending May 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 264,000, an increase of 22,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 242,000. This is the highest level for initial claims since October 30, 2021 when it was 264,000. The 4-week moving average was 245,250, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 239,250. This is the highest level for this average since November 20, 2021 when it was 249,250.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.2 percent for the week ending April 29, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 29 was 1,813,000, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 4,000 from 1,805,000 to 1,801,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,829,500, an increase of 2,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 1,000 from 1,828,250 to 1,827,250.
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.4 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, after increasing 0.1 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 4.9 percent before seasonal adjustment.
The index for shelter was the largest contributor to the monthly all items increase, followed by increases in the index for used cars and trucks and the index for gasoline. The increase in the gasoline index more than offset declines in other energy component indexes, and the energy index rose 0.6 percent in April. The food index was unchanged in April, as it was in March. The index for food at home fell 0.2 percent over the month while the index for food away from home rose 0.4 percent.
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) sets monetary policy to meet the 2% inflation target, and in a way that helps to sustain growth and employment. At its meeting ending on 10 May 2023, the MPC voted by a majority of 7–2 to increase Bank Rate by 0.25 percentage points, to 4.5%. Two members preferred to maintain Bank Rate at 4.25%.
The Committee’s updated projections for activity and inflation are set out in the accompanying May Monetary Policy Report. They are conditioned on a market-implied path for Bank Rate that peaks at around 4¾% in 2023 Q4 before ending the forecast period at just over 3½%.
The first quarterly estimate of UK real gross domestic product (GDP) shows that the economy increased by 0.1% in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2023. This follows growth of 0.1% in the previous quarter. The level of quarterly GDP in Quarter 1 2023 is now 0.5% below its pre-pandemic level (Quarter 4 2019).
There was a pickup in gross fixed capital formation (GFCF), which increased by 1.3% in Quarter 1 2023. This reflected increases in business and government investment on the quarter, partially offset by a fall in dwellings investment. Business investment increased by 0.7% in Quarter 1 2023 and remains 1.4% below its pre-pandemic levels (Quarter 4 2019).