Still teetering, I guess.

(But, whether or not the United States is in a “recession” is irrelevant, isn’t it, if you’re out of a job or can’t sell your home, right?)

The takeaway from below is, if you wonder where the US economy is going, it’s an unknown. Certainly, not “up, up, up”. Any forecast beyond that is certainly “best guess”. Which, after all, is what economists, meteorologists, and seismologists do, right?

New home sales plunge but jobless claims cheer – By Alister Bull, Reuters

U.S. new home sales plunged to their lowest in more than 16 years in March and prices plummeted but jobs and factory data suggested slumping home values may not be hurting the economy as much as feared …

First-time jobless claims fell sharply last week and a dip in March durable goods orders was mostly due to a big drop in orders for transportation goods, led by motor vehicles.

“They sure don’t look like recession numbers to me,” said Michael Darda, chief economist at MKM Partners LLC in Greenwich, Connecticut, referring to the jobs data.

The number of U.S. workers filing initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 33,000 last week to 342,000, the Labor Department said, compared with economists’ forecasts for 375,000 new claims.

The four-week moving average of new claims, a more reliable guide to underlying labor trends because it irons out weekly fluctuations, eased last week to 369,500 from 376,750.

“The 4-week moving average is still consistent with a slowdown, but the idea this is a second Great Depression or Japan circa-1995 is just utter hysteria and the numbers I think prove that,” said Darda.

Nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending, was unchanged as forecast and the previous month was revised up to show a 2.0 percent decline, from a 2.4 percent drop reported before.

But shipments of this so-called “core” measure of capital spending jumped by 1.2 percent, possibly hinting at stronger foreign demand for U.S. equipment, while inventories in this category increased by 1.0 percent.

“The net effect of all this was to push our estimate for first quarter GDP from down 0.1 percent to up 0.3 percent,” said Morgan Stanley economist David Greenlaw …

A prediction of positive GDP?

We’ll see about that, now, won’t we?

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