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Jobless Claims in U.S. Decline to Lowest Level Since 2007

Employers fired the fewest workers last week since before the recession began almost six years ago, raising expectations that bigger job gains will soon give U.S. consumers the ability to boost spending.

The number of claims for jobless benefits dropped by 15,000 to 320,000 in the week ended Aug. 10, the least since October 2007, according to Labor Department data today in Washington. Other figures showed consumer confidence hovered near a five-year high last week, builder sentiment jumped this month to the highest level since 2005 and manufacturing is struggling to gain traction following a slowdown earlier this year.