Highlights of key economic statistics from last week compiled by Putnam Investments.
- Construction spending fell 0.1% in February compared with January, the Census Bureau stated.
- Factory orders decreased 0.7% in February, the Census Bureau noted.
- The trade deficit widened in February, according to the Census Bureau.
- Initial jobless claims fell by 18,000 to 228,000 in the week ended April 1, 2023, the Labor Department reported.
- The U.S. added 236,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dipped to 3.5% in March from 3.6% in February.
- As of March 31, 2023, of the 17 S&P 500 Index companies reporting first-quarter earnings, 15 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
- The IBD/TIPP U.S. Economic Optimism Index rose in April, reaching a 16-month high.
- Eurostat found euro area industrial producer prices fell 0.5% in February compared with January.
- Germany’s Federal Statistical Office noted factory orders rose 4.8% in February compared with January.
- The yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined.
- High energy prices, worsened by the Russia-Ukraine War, increase the risk of stagflation and recession, even as central banks seek monetary policy normalization.
- Declining liquidity and deteriorating financial conditions, combined with high valuations, are contributing to a substantial uptick in risk asset volatility.
- Global leverage is at worrisome levels and will eventually need to be paid for, at a time when most developed markets are facing a fiscal drag from the end of post-pandemic stimulus.
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All economic and performance information is historical and does not guarantee future results. The views and opinions expressed are those of Putnam Investments, are subject to change with market conditions, and are not meant as investment advice.
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