Weekly economic update for March 25, 2024

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


  • Housing starts jumped 10.7% in February compared with January, according to the Census Bureau.
  • The Conference Board Leading Economic Index increased in February.


  • Initial jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 210,000 in the week ended March 16, 2024, the Department of Labor noted.


  • As of March 14, 2024, of the 496 S&P 500 Index companies reporting fourth-quarter earnings, 366 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.


  • The ZEW Economic Sentiment Indicator for Germany rose in March.


  • The euro area posted a trade surplus in January, according to Eurostat.
  • Eurostat reported the euro area annual inflation rate fell to 2.6% in February from 2.8% in January.
  • Germany’s Federal Statistical Office noted producer prices dropped 0.4% in February compared with January.


  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note traded in a range.
  • The Bank of Japan decided to reverse its negative interest-rate policy and set the target range of the overnight rate at 0% to 0.1%.
  • The Bank of England decided to maintain its bank rate at 5.25%.
  • The Federal Reserve held rates steady.


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

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Putnam Perspectives

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.