The number of Americans applying for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 324,000, a decrease of 18,000, which was less than the number analysts were expecting.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S expected, on average, claims for the seven days ended Saturday to rise to 345,000 from the previous week's 339,000.
For the seven days ended April 20, claims fell to 339,000, a decrease of 16,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 355,000. The four-week moving average was 357,500, a decrease of 4,500 from the previous week's revised average of 362,000.
Mike Obel works as Senior Editor, Copy Chief. Before that he was Markets Editor, assigning, editing and writing about business, markets, finance and economics. Before coming...