Highlights of key economic statistics from last week compiled by Putnam Investments.
- New home sales rose 1.1% in February compared with January, the Census Bureau noted.
- Existing home sales jumped 14.5% in February, the National Association of Realtors found.
- Initial jobless claims fell by 1,000 to 191,000 in the week ended March 18, 2023, the Department of Labor reported.
- As of March 2, 2023, 68% of S&P 500 Index companies reported actual EPS in the fourth quarter that exceeded estimates, according to FactSet.
- The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany declined in March.
- Eurostat reported the euro area trade deficit increased in January.
- Germany’s Federal Statistical Office noted industrial producer prices declined 0.3% in February compared with January.
- The yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined.
- The Bank of England decided to increase the bank rate by 25 basis points.
- The Federal Reserve raised the target range of the federal funds rate by 25 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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