Weekly economic update for March 4, 2024


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


economy

  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.2% in the fourth quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis found in its second estimate.
  • Durable goods orders dropped 6.1% in January, the Census Bureau stated in an advance report.
  • New home sales grew 1.5% in January compared with December, the Census Bureau noted.

Employment

  • Initial jobless claims rose by 13,000 to 215,000 in the week ended February 24, 2024, the Department of Labor found.

Profits

  • As of February 22, 2024, of the 445 S&P 500 Index companies reporting fourth-quarter earnings, 334 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Emotion

  • The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index fell in February.

Europe

  • The European Commission’s Economic Sentiment Indicator declined slightly in the euro area and EU in February.
  • The GfK Consumer Sentiment Index for Germany rose slightly heading into March and remained at a negative level.
  • Germany’s Federal Statistical Office noted the annual inflation rate is estimated at 2.5% for February, marking the lowest level since June 2021.

Rates

  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note traded in a range.

Risks

  • Rate of inflation moderation
  • Slower economic growth amid higher interest rates
  • Magnitude of earnings degradation

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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.