Jobless Claims, CPI due

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The U.S. will release its weekly numbers on jobless claims, at a time when Congress is still struggling to make any headway on a fiscal relief package  not least due disagreements over enhanced unemployment benefits.

Analysts expect initial claims to rise to 725,000 from 712,000 last week, in what would represent another week of large-scale job destruction due to the pandemic. Continuing claims are also expected to show signs of bottoming out, with only a modest decline to 5.335 million.

Also due at 8:30 AM ET are U.S. consumer inflation figures, which are expected to show that the official inflation rate stayed at 1.6% in November. Analysts will be looking particularly closely at developments in food prices, which have gained in importance in consumer spending this year.