More Americans than expected filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, Bloomberg reported.

Jobless claims nationally increased by 24,000 to 329,000 in the week ending April 19, the most in a month, the article said, citing a Labor Department report released today. The median forecast of 44 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an increase to 315,000.

 

The Easter holiday period made it difficult to predict, though, as the adjustment during spring holidays is hard to quantify from year to year, a Labor Department spokesman told Bloomberg.

 

However, orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods rose more than expected in March and a measure of business capital spending plans surged, bolstering views that growth will accelerate in the second quarter, according to an article by Reuters.

 

The Commerce Department said on Thursday that durable goods orders increased 2.6 percent as demand rose across all categories. Durable goods range from toasters to aircraft and are meant to last at least three years.

 

Orders advanced 2.1 percent in February instead of the previously reported 2.2 percent increase. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast orders rising 2.0 percent last month.

 

According to Reuters, the report fit in with other data, such as industrial production, retail sales and employment, that have suggested the economy gained steam after a troubled first quarter.