Highlights of key economic statistics from last week compiled by Putnam Investments.
- The CPI rose 0.4% and the core CPI increased 0.5% in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
- The Producer Price Index for final demand declined 0.1% in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found.
- Retail sales fell 0.4% in February compared with January, the Census Bureau noted in an advance report.
- Initial jobless claims fell by 20,000 to 192,000 in the week ended March 11, 2023, the Department of Labor reported.
- As of March 9, 2023, of the 499 S&P 500 Index companies reporting fourth-quarter earnings, 336 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
- The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose to 90.9 in February from 90.3 in January.
- Eurostat noted euro area annual inflation fell to 8.5% in February from 8.6% in January.
- Eurostat reported euro area industrial production grew 0.7% in January compared with December.
- Germany’s Federal Statistical Office noted wholesale prices rose 0.1% in February compared with January.
- The yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined.
- The European Central Bank raised its key interest rates by 50 basis points.
- 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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