Economic and market updates

Economic Update for April 24, 2017

Highlights of news-making events of the past week, from the economy and profits to Europe and interest rates.

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economy

Housing starts fell 6.8% in March, the Commerce Dept. noted. The Fed reported that industrial production grew 0.5% in March. The Conference Board Leading Economic Index rose in March. Existing home sales surged 4.4% in April, the NAR stated. China's National Bureau of Statistics noted that retail sales climbed 10.0% in the first quarter and industrial production rose 7.6% in March.

employment

Initial jobless claims rose by 10,000 to 244,000 in the week ended April 15, 2017, according to the Labor Department. The four-week moving average was 243,000.

profits

As of April 13, 2017, of the 29 S&P 500 Index companies reporting first-quarter earnings, 22 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

emotion

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index declined to 49.9 in the week ended April 16, 2017, from 51.0 in the prior week. The European Commission's Flash Consumer Confidence Indicator increased markedly in the euro area in April.

europe

Eurostat noted annual inflation fell to 1.5% in March from 2.0% in February. The euro area posted a trade surplus in February. Germany’s Federal Statistical Office stated producer prices rose in March. The Markit Flash Eurozone PMI Composite grew to a six-year high in April. The U.K.'s Office for National Statistics noted first-quarter retail sales fell 1.4%, the biggest drop since 2013.

rates

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note declined. The Federal Reserve's Beige Book report, which covered mid-February through March, noted that "modest wage increases broadened."

risks

  • Uncertain GDP impact of President Trump's fiscal and trade policies
  • Deflating house prices in major cities across China
  • Populist political momentum across 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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