As Bloomberg is reporting:

Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly declined last week to an almost four-month low, a sign companies are confident in the outlook for demand.

Reports earlier this week were either promising or ominous, depending.

* Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods rebounded in February, but a surprise drop in a gauge of planned spending on capital goods pointed to sluggish economic growth this quarter. Reuters

* Purchases of new homes in the U.S. fell in February to the lowest level in five months, a sign the industry may take time to pick up after inclement weather damped demand earlier in the year. Bloomberg

* U.S. consumer confidence rose in March to its highest in more than six years as expectations brightened, according to a private sector report released on Tuesday. Reuters

The economy, it seems, will not be pinned down nor will it do the easy thing or conform to the expectations of economists.

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