Spike in US jobless claims could eliminate chances of December taper

After some great US unemployment data last Friday, today's spike in initial jobless claims (for the week to 6 December) may mean that any chance of the Federal Reserve beginning tapering in December has vanished.

Those initial jobless claims have jumped from 300,000 (revised up from 298,000) to 368,000. Analysts had anticipated an increase to just 320,000.

Paul Dales, senior US economist at Capital Economics, says that the jump may be "due to problems in seasonally adjusting the data around the Thanksgiving holiday."

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