Highlights of key economic statistics from last week compiled by Putnam Investments.
- The S&P Global Flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index rose to 50.2 in February from 46.8 in January.
- GDP grew at an annual rate of 2.7% in the fourth quarter of 2022, the Bureau of Economic Analysis stated.
- Existing home sales fell 0.7% in January, according to the National Association of Realtors.
- Initial jobless claims fell by 3,000 to 192,000 in the week ended February 18, 2023, the Department of Labor found.
- As of February 22, 2023, of the 445 S&P 500 Index companies reporting fourth-quarter earnings, 303 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
- The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany increased in February.
- Eurostat noted the euro area annual inflation rate fell to 8.6% in January from 9.2% in December.
- The European Commission’s Flash Consumer Confidence Indicator for the euro area improved in February.
- Euro area industrial production fell 2.5% in December compared with November, Eurostat found.
- The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose.
- 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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