The number of Americans submitting first-time claims for jobless benefits rose by 13,000 to 472,000 last week, suggesting the economic recovery may be decelerating. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a decline in claims to 455,000.

The four-week average of initial claims rose by 3,250 to 466,500. That's the highest since early March.

"Initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits are moving in the wrong direction," Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody's Economy.com in West Chester, Pa., told Bloomberg News before the report. "Jobless claims are further from levels typically viewed as signaling rising payrolls."

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