US: Initial jobless claims and Philly Fed Survey data awaited - Nomura

Analysts at Nomura points out that the Initial jobless claims and Philly Fed Survey will be the key economic releases for today’s US session.

Key Quotes

Initial jobless claims: Initial claims remain at historically low levels after a continued decline during the recovery. The four-week average of initial claims has stayed within the 240-260k range for the past seven months in spite of weekly volatility. We expect this low trend to continue as the labor market continues to improve.”

Philly Fed Survey: The Philly Fed general business activity index slipped to 32.8 in March from 43.3 in February, the highest since January 1984. Although still a steady reading, the decline in this index appears consistent with other business sentiment indicators which softened slightly from their peaks after the election. The ISM manufacturing index, for example, slipped 0.5pp to 57.2 in March. Hard measures of manufacturing activity improved steadily but did not show material acceleration, highlighting the continuing divergence between soft and hard data. Furthermore, given continued uncertainty regarding government policy, we think it unlikely that the Philly Fed business activity index will improve further in April. We expect the index to slip slightly to 30.0 in April (Consensus: 25.5).”