Highlights of key economic statistics from last week compiled by Putnam Investments.
- Factory orders declined 1.6% in January, the Census Bureau stated.
- Wholesale sales rose 1.0% in January compared with December, the Census Bureau noted.
- Initial jobless claims rose by 21,000 to 211,000 in the week ended March 4, 2023, the Department of Labor reported.
- The U.S. added 311,000 jobs and the unemployment rate rose to 3.6% in February from 3.4% in January.
- As of March 3, 2023, with 99% of S&P 500 Index companies reporting fourth-quarter earnings, 69% of companies reported a positive EPS surprise and 65% reported a positive revenue surprise, according to FactSet.
- The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index rose in March.
- Eurostat reported euro area retail trade increased 0.3% in January.
- Eurostat found euro area services declined by 2.1% in December compared with November.
- Germany’s Federal Statistical Office noted factory orders increased 1.0% in January compared with December.
- The yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined.
- The Bank of Japan held rates steady.
- 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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