bush's war (on the economy) 'on plan'
WaPo: Jobless Claims Highest Since April 2002
New claims for unemployment benefits shot up last week to their highest point in nearly a year as businesses made work forces leaner amid a muddled wartime economic climate.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that new applications jumped by a seasonally adjusted 38,000 to 445,000 for the week ending March 29. That represented the highest level of new claims since the week ending April 13, 2002.
Thursday's report highlighted the difficulties both companies and workers are facing, not only because of war but also because of a muddled economic climate.
The pace of layoffs last week was worse than economists were predicting. They were forecasting claims to rise to around 410,000.
Economists say claims above the 400,000 mark generally depict an extremely weak job market.
The more stable four-week moving average of new claims also rose last week to 426,250. The moving average has been above the 400,000 level for five straight weeks.
CNN/Money: Factory orders fall 1.5% in February
Orders for U.S. manufactured goods slumped sharply in February, the Commerce Department said Wednesday in a report hinting at increased caution among firms ahead of the start of the Iraq war.
The Commerce Department said orders fell a larger-than-expected 1.5 percent to $321.16 billion in February, following a revised 1.7 percent increase in January. Orders for durable goods -- items such as cars and appliances meant to last three or more years -- fell 1.6 percent, a bigger fall than the previously reported 1.2 percent drop.
And the CBO reports that even after acceding to pressure to use "dynamic scoring" to
fudge adjust budgetary numbers, Bush's own budgets still add up to deficits as far as the eye can see. Money quote: "[I]n no case does Mr. Bush's tax cut come close to paying for itself over the next 10 years."
Anyone feel like ice cream? 'Cause I sense a double dip in store.
(via The Agonist and Brad DeLong)