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Economic Update for April 14, 2014
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Highlights of news-making events of the past week, from the economy and profits to Europe and interest rates.

economy

The BLS reported that import, export, and producer prices advanced in March. The Dept. of Commerce noted wholesale inventories rose 0.5% in February. The Fed stated consumer credit rose by 6.5% in February. China's National Bureau of Statistics reported the CPI rose by 2.4% year-over-year in March.

employment

Initial jobless claims fell by 32,000 to 300,000 in the week ended April 5, 2014, according to the Labor Department. The four-week moving average was 316,250.

profits

Dividend net increases rose $17.8 billion during the first quarter of 2014 for U.S. domestic common stocks, compared with a $14.5 billion increase in the first quarter of 2013, representing a 22.9% increase, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. Of the 10,000 stocks in the study, 102 companies decreased dividends.

emotion

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading of consumer sentiment rose to 82.6 in April from 80.0 in March. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index declined to -31.9 in the week ended
April 10, 2014, from -30.0 in the prior week.

europe

Germany's Federal Statistical Office reported consumer prices rose by 1.0% and wholesale prices declined 1.7% year-over-year in March. INSEE reported that industrial production in France rose 0.1% and manufacturing output increased by 0.3% in February. The U.K.'s Office for National Statistics reported manufacturing output grew 1.0% in February.

rates

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell. The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted to maintain the bank rate at 0.5%.

risks

  • Interest-rate volatility as the Fed tapers quantitative easing policies
  • Geopolitical risk in Eastern Europe

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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