Hope for US recovery as good job numbers defy shutdown worries

City A.M. Reporter
STRONG business activity data yesterday countered fears that the US economy would slow down after the government shutdown.

New orders hit their highest level since 2004, with the Institute of Supply Management Chicago business barometer jumping from 55.7 to 65.9, the strongest reading since March 2011.

Weekly unemployment claims also fell, in welcome news for the nation’s battered labour market after the impact of a government shutdown on furloughed federal workers diminished.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 340,000, the Labor Department said yesterday.

The US job market had apparently slackened in recent months, with private-sector employers hiring fewer workers in October after uncertainty caused by budget rows.