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BBH: jobless claims to be key economic event this week

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Once again, weekly jobless claims likely will be the key U.S. economic report this week as investors keep trying to gauge how much harm is occurring to the U.S. economy due to lockdown efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said Brown Brothers Harriman. Jobless claims, due out on Thursday, rose by a combined 10 million during the last two reporting weeks. The U.S. Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index are due out this week, but “inflation is simply not on anyone’s radar right now,” BBH said. “As one of the few high-frequency indicators, weekly jobless claims Thursday will continue to hold the spotlight.” Consensus estimates call for another 5 million claims, BBH said. “If so, this would mean over 15 million became jobless in the past three weeks,” BBH said. “This means we will likely get a nonfarm payrolls reading near minus 15 million this month, which is simply astounding.”Market participants will also eye the March budget statement on Friday, BBH added. “Why? Well, a deficit of $150 billion is expected and that’s probably the last ‘good’ reading we’ll get for a long time,” BBH said. “Revenues are likely to dry up now, while expenditures will rise sharply. These unprecedented conditions are likely to see annual budget deficits blow out to at least $4 trillion, probably more.”

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