The number of Americans filing applications for jobless benefits unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength that should continue to underpin the economy.
Other data on Thursday showed factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region rebounded in January from near a 2-1/2-year low, driven by a surge in new orders. While manufacturers were also upbeat about business conditions over the next six months, they were slightly less optimistic about capital spending.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 213,000 for the week ended Jan. 12, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was unrevised.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 220,000 in the latest week. The Labor Department said only claims for West Virginia were estimated last week.
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