Full text of U.S. Financial Data : April 8, 1999
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April 8, 1999 USFinancialData THE WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS: The index of U.S. import prices rose 0.1 percent in March. There was a 0.4 percent drop in nonpetroleum import prices, which was more than offset by a 7.7 percent jump in petroleum prices. Total import prices rose 0.3 percent in the first quarter, the first increase in nine quarters. For the week ending April 3, initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits totaled 299,000. Averaged over the last four weeks, claims totaled 295,250, down 4.8 percent from a year earlier. Following a 0.5 percent rise in January, the index of leading economic indicators rose 0.2 percent in February. The leading index declined last in June 1998 and has not posted two consecutive months of declines since April-May 1995. The National Association of Purchasing Managers’ index of non-manufacturing activity (mostly services) rose 5.8 percent in the first quarter. Measured from four quarters earlier, however, it is down 0.5 percent. Nonagricultural employment, following gains of 297,000 in February and 217,000 in January, rose 46,000 in March. Still, nonfarm payrolls rose at a 2.3 percent annual rate during the first quarter, 0.1 percentage points more than the fourth quarter of 1998. Total bank credit rose $9.4 billion during the week ending March 24. Although bank credit has declined 0.8 percent year-to-date, it is up 6.5 percent from a year earlier (see Page 10). All data are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise indicated. U.S. Financial Data is published weekly by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. For more information on data, please call (314) 444-8590. To be added to the mailing list, please call (314) 444-8808 or (314) 444-8809. Information in this publication is also included in the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) electronic bulletin board at (314) 621-1824 or internet World Wide Web server at www.stls.frb.org/fred.