By the numbers: The economy this week

Update for March 18, 2019   |   Download PDF

Highlights of key economic statistics from last week compiled by Putnam Investments.


  • The CPI rose 0.2% and the core CPI increased 0.1% in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
  • Durable goods orders rose 0.4% in January, the Census Bureau noted in an advance report.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that import and export prices both rose in February.
  • The Producer Price Index for final demand climbed 0.1% in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


  • Initial jobless claims rose by 6,000 to 229,000 in the week ended March 9, 2019, according to the Labor Department.


  • As of March 7, 2019, of the 497 S&P 500 Index companies reporting fourth-quarter earnings, 338 — or 68.0% — beat analysts’ expectations, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.


  • The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index improved in February.
  • The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment jumped to 97.8 in March from 93.8 in February.


  • Eurostat stated that industrial production rose 1.4% in January.
  • Germany’s Federal Statistical Office reported that industrial production slipped 0.8% in January.
  • Exports increased 1.7% in January, according to Germany’s Federal Statistical Office.
  • The United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics stated that the trade deficit widened in the three months to January.


  • The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note traded in a narrow range.
  • The Bank of Japan held rates steady.


  • No resolution to China trade war, or opening a new front with Europe on autos, risks more equity market turmoil.
  • Brexit, Italian debt dynamics, and the re-emergence of populism risk tipping Europe back into recession.
  • Weak stimulus in China thus far is showing little sign of slowing the pace of deceleration.

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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.