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Improving Job Market, Weak Inflation Make Fed Call Tougher

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The fewest claims for jobless benefits in 15 years signal the U.S. labor market continues to strengthen even as the world’s largest economy struggles to regain momentum.

The number of applications for unemployment insurance payments unexpectedly fell by 1,000 to 264,000 in the week ended May 9, pushing the monthly average to the lowest level since April 2000, according to Labor Department data issued Thursday in Washington. Another report showed producer prices declined broadly last month.