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US weekly jobless claims rise slightly, while mid-Atlantic factory activity accelerates

February 20, 2020


The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose modestly last week, suggesting sustained labor market strength that could help to support the economy amid risks from the coronavirus and weak business investment.

There was encouraging news on the struggling manufacturing sector, with other data on Thursday showing factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region accelerated to a three-year high in February, likely as tensions in the 19-month trade war between the United States and China diminished. Washington and China signed a Phase 1 trade deal in January.

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