Last week, initial claims for unemployment insurance in the U.S. returned to roughly the level of two weeks before. The seasonally adjusted figure for the week ending August 27 was 320,000, an increase of 3,000 claims from the previous week's revised figure of 317,000, the U.S. Labor Department reported on September 1. The department's four-week moving average of initial claims edged up for the second consecutive week, an increase of 1,250 claims to 316,750.
Separately, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on September 1 that U.S. consumers spent money at a much faster rate in July than their incomes were rising. Personal income rose three-tenths of a percentage point in July. Personal consumption expenditures, however, rose a full percentage point in July, the same as in June.