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The US Energy Information Administration reported that US commercial crude oil stockpiles decreased by 2.6M barrels to 413.4M barrels (12% below the five-year average) for the week ending February 25th. Crude oil refinery inputs averaged 15.4M barrels per day, an increase of 153K barrels per day as compared to the previous week’s average. Gasoline inventories decreased by 0.5M barrels (1% below the five-year average), distillate inventories decreased by 0.6M barrels (16% below the five-year average). Refineries operated at 87.7% of their operable capacity, as gasoline production increased an average of 9.3M barrels per day. Crude oil imports came in at 5.8M barrels per day, a decrease of 1.1M barrels per day as compared to the previous week. Crude oil imports averaged about 6.2M barrels per day over the last four weeks, 9.4% more than the same period last year. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased by 3.9M barrels last week.
The Labor Department reported a decrease in initial jobless claims for the week ending February 26th. The seasonally adjusted initial claims reported in at 215,000, a decrease of 18,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised level. The four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility was 230,500 a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week’s revised average. Michigan led with a (-9,200) drop in initial claims, followed California (-4,673), and Florida (-2,388). Both Massachusetts (+3,137) and Rhode Island (+1,039) saw increases. For the week ending February 19th, the number of people continuing to claim unemployment also known as insured unemployment remained at 1.1%. Continuing claims reported in at 1.476M up 2,000 from the previous week’s downwardly revised level. The continuing claims 4-week moving average was 1,539,500, a decrease of 36,250 from the previous week, this is the lowest average since April 4, 1970’s 1,516,000 reading. For the week ending February 12th, 1.971M people were receiving jobless benefits through state or federal programs, a decrease of 62,625 from the previous week’s level. There were some 18.593M weekly claims filed for the comparable week in 2021.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 678,000 jobs were added in February, as the unemployment rate edged down to 3.8% with 6.3M unemployed. February 2020’s pre-pandemic reading was 3.5% with 5.7M unemployed. The data pre-dates Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Impacting the headline number was leisure and hospitality (+179K), professional and business services (+95K), health care(+64K), and construction (+60K). Gains were also reported in transportation and warehousing (+48K), retailers (+37K), and manufacturing (+36K). Average hourly earnings were little changed at $31.58 in February, year over year average hourly earnings have increased 5.1%. The labor force participation rate or the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one edged to 62.3%. December’s jobs report was revised up (+78K), and January was revised up (+14K) for a combined 92K additional jobs.
Wednesday March 9 – JOLTs Job Openings (January)
Thursday March 10 – Core CPI (MoM) (February)
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