New claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, bouncing back above the key 400,000 level, while core producer prices clumbed faster than expected in March, government reports showed on Thursday.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 412,000, the Labor Department said.
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Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims slipping to 380,000.
The prior weeks figure was revised up to 385,000 from the previously reported 382,000.
The four-week moving average of unemployment claims—a better measure of underlying trends—climbed 5,500 to 395,750.
The rise in claims interrupted a downward trend that had kept them below the 400,000 threshold for four weeks. That level is normally associated with steady job growth. Despite last weeks rise, the four-week average held below the 400,000 mark for a seventh straight week.
A Labor Department official said claims tend to rise the first week of a new quarter.