Weekly economic update

Economic Update for May 22, 2017   |   Download PDF

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


The Commerce Dept. reported housing starts fell 2.6% in April. The Conference Board Leading Economic Index increased 0.3% in April. The Fed noted industrial production grew 1.0% in April. China's National Bureau of Statistics found industrial production increased 6.5% in April. Japan's METI reported industrial production fell 1.9% in March.


Initial jobless claims declined by 4,000 to 232,000 in the week ended May 13, 2017. The four-week moving average was 240,750.


As of May 12, 2017, with 91% of S&P 500 Index companies reporting first-quarter earnings, 75% of companies have beat the mean EPS estimate and 64% have beat the mean sales estimate, according to FactSet.


The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to 50.2 in the week ended May 14, 2017, from 49.7 in the prior week.


Eurostat reported that euro area annual inflation rose to 1.9% in April from 1.5% in March. Also, euro area GDP increased 0.5% in the first quarter. The euro area posted a trade surplus in March. The U.K.'s Office for National Statistics reported the CPI rose to 2.6% in April, and retail sales grew 2.3%. The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany increased in May.


The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note traded in a narrow range.


  • Uncertain timeline on key U.S. pro-growth measures
  • Leading indicators of Chinese nominal growth rolling over
  • Mismatch between low-volatility environment and policy uncertainty

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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.