THE ECONOMY

THE ECONOMY

US JOBLESS CLAIMS OFF

16,000 IN LATEST WEEKNew claims for state unemployment insurance benefits were made by 346,000 people during the week ended Feb. 24, down 16,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday.

Initial claims were down a revised 13,000 in the week ended Feb. 17 to a seasonally adjusted 362,000, Labor said.

In the week ended Feb. 17, 2.34 million people were reported claiming unemployment benefits under regular state programs, up 8,000 from the previous week's revised 2.33 million, Labor said.

The rate of insured unemployment during the week ended Feb. 17 was unchanged from the previous week at 2.3 percent.

New claims during the four weeks ended Feb. 24 averaged 358,750 a week, down from a revised 364,250 for the four weeks ended Feb. 17.

US CAR, TRUCK OUTPUT

RISE FORECAST FOR WEEK

NEW YORK - U.S. carmakers will produce 216,874 cars and trucks this week, up from last week's 213,458 but down from last year's 240,124, according to estimates by Ward's Automotive Reports.

U.S. car production this week was estimated at 134,086, up from last week's 131,289 and down from last year's 149,688.

U.S. truck makers will assemble an estimated 82,788 units this week, up

from last week's 82,169 but down from last year's 90,436.

General Motors Corp. scheduled overtime for this Saturday at its truck plant in Fort Wayne, Ind., and Ford Motor Co. set Saturday work for its car plant in Wixom, Mich., and light truck plant in Louisville, Ky. Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. also scheduled overtime for this Saturday at its Marysville, Ohio, facility.

Of this week's estimated U.S. car output, GM accounts for 43.1 percent; Ford, 25.5 percent; Chrysler Corp., 11.5 percent; Honda, 6.7 percent; Mazda Motor Manufacturing (U.S.A.) Corp., 2.4 percent; Nissan of America Manufacturing Corp., 1.8 percent; New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., 3.1 percent; Toyota Motor Manufacturing U.S.A. Inc., 3.3 percent; Diamond-Star Motors Corp., 2.2 percent, and Subaru-Isuzu Automotive Inc., 0.4 percent.