Highlights of key economic statistics from last week compiled by Putnam Investments.
- Factory orders increased 1.4% in January, the Census Bureau reported.
- Wholesale inventories grew 0.8% in January compared with December, according to the Census Bureau.
- Initial jobless claims fell by 18,000 to 215,000 in the week ended February 26, 2022, according to the Labor Department.
- The United States added 678,000 jobs and the unemployment rate declined to 3.8% in February from 4.0% in January.
- As of February 24, 2022, of the 462 S&P 500 Index companies that reported fourth-quarter earnings, 350 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
- The AAII Investor Sentiment Survey, for the week ended March 2, 2022, showed a rebound in bullish sentiment (the expectation that stock prices will rise in the next six months).
- Eurostat reported euro area industrial producer prices were up by 5.2% in January compared with December.
- Eurostat found euro area annual inflation rate is expected to rise to 5.8% in February from 5.1% in January.
- The yield on the 10-year Treasury note traded in a range.
- The Federal Reserve reported “economic activity has expanded at a modest to moderate pace since mid-January.”
- Rising energy prices, worsened by the Russia-Ukraine crisis, 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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