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U.S. Economy: Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Decline

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits unexpectedly declined and manufacturing in the Philadelphia area contracted, highlighting forecasts for an uneven pace of economic recovery.

Initial jobless claims dropped by 3,000 to 450,000 in the week ended Sept. 11, the lowest level in two months, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said its general economic index rose to minus 0.7 in September from minus 7.7 in August.