Weekly economic update

Economic Update for February 21, 2017   |   Download PDF

Highlights of news-making events of the past week, from the economy and profits to Europe and interest rates.


The BLS noted the CPI rose 0.6% and core CPI increased 0.3% in January. The Commerce Dept. reported retail sales increased 0.4% and housing starts declined 2.6% in January. Business inventories were up 0.4% in December. The Fed found that industrial production fell 0.3% in January. China's National Bureau of Statistics reported the CPI rose 2.5% and producer prices jumped 6.9% in January.


Initial jobless claims rose by 5,000 to 239,000 in the week ended February 11, 2017, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 245,250.


As of February 10, 2017, of the 343 S&P 500 Index companies reporting fourth-quarter earnings, 242 — or 68.4% — beat analysts' estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.


The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to 48.1 in the week ended February 12, 2017, from 47.2 in the prior week.


Eurostat reported in a first estimate that the euro area posted a trade surplus in December, and GDP rose 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Industrial production fell 1.6% in December. The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany decreased in February. Germany's Federal Statistical Office noted the CPI rose 1.9% in January.


The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury traded in a narrow range. In testimony to Congress, Fed Chair Janet Yellen indicated that a rate hike is likely at an upcoming meeting and said, "Waiting too long to remove accommodation would be unwise."


  • Uncertain GDP impact of President Trump's fiscal and trade policies
  • Deflating house prices in major cities across China
  • Populist political momentum across Europe

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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.