Two key economic reports just came out, and both offer hopeful news for those looking for signs that the U.S. economy is regaining its feet. The Associated Press writes that:
— The government says demand for big-ticket manufactured goods soared by the largest amount in 16 months in April, the second increase in the past three months.
The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods rose by 1.9% in April, more than four times the 0.4% increase that had been expected.
— The tally of newly laid-off people seeking jobless benefits fell last week, a sign that companies are cutting fewer workers.
The Labor Department reports that the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped to a seasonally adjusted 623,000, from a revised figure of 636,000 in the previous week.
That was below analysts' expectations of 635,000.
If you're looking for the reports themselves, the Commerce Department's durable goods release is here. The Labor Department's release on unemployment claims is here.
At 10 a.m. ET, Commerce is due to report about last month's new home sales.
Trying to follow the economy's ups and downs? So is Planet Money.