Weekly economic update

Economic Update for November 5, 2018   |   Download PDF

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


  • The trade deficit increased in September, the Census Bureau stated.
  • The Employment Cost Index increased 0.8% in the third quarter, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Home prices posted an annual gain of 5.8% in August, down from 6.0% in July, S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller reported.


  • The U.S. added 250,000 jobs in October, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7%.
  • Initial jobless claims declined by 2,000 to 214,000 in the week ended October 27, 2018, according to the Labor Department.


  • As of October 31, 2018, of the 333 S&P 500 Index companies reporting third-quarter earnings, 253 — or 75.9% — beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.


  • The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in October.


  • Eurostat reported that GDP grew 0.2% in the euro area in the third quarter.
  • Euro area annual inflation rose to 2.2% in October from 2.1% in September, according to Eurostat.
  • The European Commission’s Economic Sentiment and Business Climate indicators for the euro area both declined in October.


  • The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose.
  • The Bank of Japan held rates steady.
  • The Bank of England decided to maintain its bank rate at 0.75%.


  • The strengthening U.S. dollar, widening credit spreads, and higher oil prices are putting pressure on select emerging-market countries.
  • Worries of dwindling global spare capacity in oil production may cause prices to spike, risking an inflation scare.
  • The Fed appears to be on course to invert the yield curve.

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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.