Jobless Claims Hit 6-Month Low, Manufacturing So-So

Initial jobless claims fell to a six-month low last week, the Labor Department said Thursday morning, while two new reports on industrial activity showed more-modest growth.

New filings for unemployment benefits fell 12,000 to 232,000 in the week ended Aug. 12. Economists had expected 240,000. It's the latest sign of tight labor markets, though that hasn't pushed up wage growth and inflation so far.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's regional manufacturing index ticked down 0.6 point in August to 18.9, the lowest reading since last November. But that was better than views for 17 and still comfortably above zero, signaling growth.

Industrial production climbed 0.2% in July, the Fed reported, vs. economists' views for a 0.3% gain. Manufacturing activity actually dipped 0.1%, defying expectations for a 0.2% rise. Auto production tumbled 3.6%.


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