Jobless claims last week decreased 23,000 to 298,000.  Jobless claims represent the amount of people who are applying for unemployment benefits for the first time, roughly a sign of the amount of people who were laid off.  This is the third straight week jobless claims have decreased, and it’s a low number for recent claims.

Also positive news is that real GDP – “the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States”- grew 3.6% in the third quarter of 2013, much higher than analysts’ estimates.  Much of this was due to inventories.

Both of these figures are positive signs for the economy.  Sales figures from holiday shopping should be telling as well.

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