Interest Rate Roundup

Thursday, October 30, 2008

GDP worst in seven years; Jobless claims remain elevated

We got another batch of economic data today, and the picture was (predictably) rather glum -- but not disastrous. GDP came in at-0.3% for the third quarter. That compares with a growth rate of 2.8% in the prior quarter and forecasts for a reading of -0.5%. It was the worst reading since the third quarter of 2001. Consumer spending fell 3.1% at an annual pace. That was the first drop since 1991 and the largest going all the way back to 1980.

Meanwhile, initial jobless claims came in at 479,000, unchanged from the prior week. Continuing claims slipped a bit to 3.715 million from 3.727 million a week earlier. These are right around seven-year and five-year highs, respectively.


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