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Initial Claims Jump 12,000; CPI Down 0.2%

Initial jobless benefits surged by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 472,000 for the week ending June 12, the Labor Department said.



) -- More first-timers applied for state unemployment benefits last week though inflation remained in-check at the consumer level last month, according to new government assessments released Thursday.

Initial jobless benefits surged by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 472,000 for the week ended June 12, the Labor Department said. The increase was a disappointment for Wall Street analysts, who on average expected new claims to fall by 6,000 from the prior week's pre-revised 456,000 total.

The number of those continuing on jobless benefit roles, too, picked up for the week of June 5, rising to 4.571 million from 4.483 million. But the average number of claims over the past month, which offers a smoother assessment of claims data, declined by a marginal 500 to 463,500.

Elsewhere, the Labor Department also said May's consumer price index reading fell 0.2%. The CPI, which is a gauge of changing consumer costs on various goods around the country, was largely led lower by declining energy prices. Economists expected CPI to slip 0.1%, following a similar decline in April. But after excluding volatile food and energy prices, the core index rose 0.1% as expected, after remaining unchanged in April.

The subdued inflation pressures for consumers also tracked alongside a

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similar fall in wholesale prices, according to a report released Wednesday.

U.S. stock futures continued pointing to a modestly higher open after the news. Futures for the

S&P 500

were trading 2.4 points higher at 1112, and were 1.54 points above fair value. Futures for the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

were gaining 20 points at 10,364, and were 10.54 points above fair value.

--Written by Sung Moss in New York