CDI Corporation

Several signs point to a strengthening economy

A firm housing market, a rise in manufacturing activity and a decline in Americans filing for unemployment suggest the economy may be picking up steam after all.

Despite a sharp slow to hiring in May, U.S. jobless claims fell to a near 43-year low last week, reported The Wall Street Journal. The number of Americans filing for unemployment fell to a seasonally adjusted 259,000 for the week that ended June 18. This marked the biggest decline since February and almost hit the four decade-record low of 253,000 reached in March. This jobless claims threshold signals a strong job market.

“The message from claims continues to be that the April and May payrolls data greatly exaggerated the extent to which the trend in employment growth is weakening,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, Ltd.

And it was not just jobless claims forecasting a bright outlook: In early June manufacturing activity hit a three-month high and a trend among new single-family home sales has stayed in line with a firming housing market, reported Reuters.

Markit data firm said manufacturers were encouraged to hire more employees, fueled by a surge in production last month. After a strong spring selling season, new home sales were up 8.7 percent from this time last year.