Highlights of key economic statistics from last week compiled by Putnam Investments.
- Housing starts rose 0.3% in March compared with February, the Census Bureau reported.
- Existing home sales fell 2.7% in March compared with February, according to the National Association of Realtors.
- Initial jobless claims declined by 2,000 to 184,000 in the week ended April 16, 2022, the Department of Labor reported.
- As of April 13, 2022, of the 33 S&P 500 Index companies that reported first-quarter earnings, 26 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
- The European Commission Flash Consumer Confidence Index for the euro area rose to -16.9 in April from -18.7 in March.
- Eurostat reported the euro area annual inflation rate rose to 7.4% in March from 5.9% in February.
- Euro area industrial production rose 0.7% in February, according to Eurostat.
- The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose.
- Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said a 50-bps rate hike “will be on the table” at the May FOMC meeting.
- Economic activity expanded at a moderate pace since mid-February, the Federal Open Market Committee stated in its Beige Book report.
- Rising 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, should lead 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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