By the numbers: The economy this week

Update for March 1, 2021

Highlights of key economic statistics from last week compiled by Putnam Investments.


  • Pending home sales fell 2.8% in January compared with December, the National Association of Realtors stated.
  • In an advance report, the Census Bureau found that durable goods orders rose 3.4% in January.
  • GDP increased at an annual rate of 4.1% in the fourth quarter, according to a second estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.


  • Initial jobless claims reached 730,000 in the week ended February 20, 2021, according to the Labor Department.


  • As of February 19, 2021, of the 418 S&P 500 Index companies reporting fourth-quarter earnings, 328 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.


  • The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment fell to 76.8 in February from 79.0 in January.
  • The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index improved in February.


  • Eurostat found that euro area annual inflation rose to 0.9% in January from -0.3% in December.
  • Germany’s Federal Statistical Office noted that GDP grew 0.3% in the fourth quarter, compared with the third quarter.


  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose.
  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said “developments point to an improved outlook for later this year.”


  • A slowdown in the pace of mobility gains globally due to regional virus case spikes will continue to act as a drag on economic recovery.
  • Global leverage, created by pandemic response packages, is at worrisome levels and eventually will need to be paid for.
  • Pandemic and financial repression policies have exacerbated global wealth inequality.

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.

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