By the numbers: The economy this week

Update for April 6, 2020

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

Download PDF
economy

  • Pending home sales increased 2.4% in February, the National Association of Realtors reported.
  • The trade deficit narrowed in February, the Census Bureau found.
  • The ISM Manufacturing PMI fell to 49.1 in March from 50.1 in February.
  • Durable goods orders jumped 1.2% in February, according to the Census Bureau.

employment

  • Initial jobless claims rose by 3.3 million to 6,648,000 in the week ended March 28, 2020, the Department of Labor reported.
  • The U.S. lost 701,000 jobs and the unemployment rate rose to 4.4% in March from 3.5% in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, adding the data did not include many business and school closures in the second half of the month.

profits

  • As of March 31, 2020, of the 501 S&P 500 Index companies reporting fourth-quarter earnings, 348 — or 69.4% — beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

emotion

  • The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index fell sharply in March.

europe

  • Eurostat reported that euro area industrial producer prices fell 0.6% in February.
  • Euro area annual inflation, in a flash estimate, fell to 0.7% in March from 1.2% in February, Eurostat noted.
  • In Germany, retail sales jumped 6.4% in February, the Federal Statistical Office found.

rates

  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined.

risks

  • Many countries around the world are now in recession as a result of the "sudden stop" induced by governments to contain the spread of COVID-19.
  • Risk asset price movements continue forcing policy makers toward much more aggressive, targeted fiscal policy as a response to the demand shock introduced by pandemic fears.
  • Brexit, Italian debt dynamics, and a fragile European banking system are likely to renew further tensions within the eurozone over fiscal burden sharing, once the pandemic shock recedes.

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.