America

Jobless Claims Jump Up; Energy Pushed Wholesale Prices Higher

There's fresh economic news:

— The number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose by 35,000 last week, to 445,000, the Employment and Training Administration reports. That's the highest level since October and, Bloomberg News writes, it underscores the concern that the labor market remains weak.

— Wholesale prices jumped up 1.1% in December from November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They were pushed higher by increases in food and energy costs. Excluding the food and energy sectors (which economists do to get a sense for the "underlying" inflation rate), wholesale prices rose 0.2% last month.

For the year ended Dec. 31, wholesale prices were up 4%.

— The nation's trade gap in goods and services was basically unchanged in November, the Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis report. It stood at $38.3 billion, vs. $38.4 billion in October.

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