By the numbers: The economy this week

Update for February 10, 2020   |   Download PDF

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


  • The Census Bureau reported that for the year 2019, the trade deficit narrowed.
  • Construction spending fell 0.2% in December, according to the Census Bureau.
  • In its final report for December, the Census Bureau noted that factory orders increased 1.8% and durable goods orders jumped 2.4%.
  • The Institute for Supply Management noted that manufacturing expanded in January.


  • Initial jobless claims declined by 15,000 to 202,000 in the week ended February 1, 2020, according to the Labor Department.
  • The United States added 225,000 jobs and the unemployment rate rose to 3.6% in January from 3.5% in December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.


  • As of January 31, 2020, of the 227 S&P 500 Index companies reporting fourth-quarter earnings, 152 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.


  • Business sentiment improved among manufacturers in January, according to the Institute for Supply Management.


  • Eurostat reported that industrial producer prices in the euro area remained stable in December.
  • Euro area retail trade fell 1.6% in December, according to Eurostat.
  • The Markit Germany Composite PMI Output Index increased to 51.2 in January from 50.2 in December.
  • Germany’s industrial production dropped 3.5% in December, the Federal Statistical Office reported.


  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose.


  • Global manufacturing remains under pressure from lagged effects of tariffs, supply chain disruptions, and the China slowdown caused by the coronavirus.
  • Brexit, Italian debt dynamics, and a fragile European banking system risk tipping Europe back into recession.
  • The lack of a V-shaped economic recovery threatens high valuations of risk assets that have priced in that recovery.

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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.