Highlights of key economic statistics from last week compiled by Putnam Investments.
- The trade deficit increased in February, the Census Bureau stated in an advance report.
- GDP grew at an annual rate of 2.6% in the fourth quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis stated in its third estimate.
- Wholesale inventories increased 0.2% in February compared with January, the Census Bureau noted in an advance report.
- Initial jobless claims rose by 7,000 to 198,000 in the week ended March 25, 2023, according to the Department of Labor.
- Corporate profits decreased 2.0% in the fourth quarter after falling less than 0.1% in the third quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
- The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index improved in March.
- Eurostat reported euro area annual inflation is expected to fall to 6.9% in March from 8.5% in February.
- The European Commission’s Economic Sentiment Indicator declined in the euro area in March.
- The ifo Business Climate Index for Germany rose in March.
- The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose.
- High energy prices, worsened by the Russia-Ukraine War, increase the risk of stagflation and recession, even as central banks seek monetary policy normalization.
- Declining liquidity and deteriorating financial conditions, combined with high valuations, are contributing to a substantial uptick in risk asset volatility.
- Global leverage is at worrisome levels and will eventually need to be paid for, at a time when most developed markets are facing a fiscal drag from the end of post-pandemic stimulus.
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