The number of claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. rose by 9,000 last week to a seasonally-adjusted 408,000 new claims. The forecast called for 400,000 new claims.
Analysts say that the recent credit downgrade, the resulting plunge in stock market prices, and the European debt crisis have all conspired to degrade consumer confidence. A decline in consumer spending can be expected to trigger lay-offs as employers look to trim costs on the expectation of lower revenues.
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