Highlights of key economic statistics from last week compiled by Putnam Investments.
- Retail sales rose 0.9% in April compared with March, the Census Bureau noted in an advance report.
- The Conference Board Leading Economic Index fell in April.
- Existing home sales dropped 2.4% in April compared with March, the National Association of Realtors found.
- Initial jobless claims rose by 21,000 to 218,000 in the week ended May 14, 2022, the Department of Labor reported.
- As of May 12, 2022, of the 456 S&P 500 Index companies reporting first-quarter earnings, 353 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
- The European Commission’s Flash Consumer Confidence Indicator rose in the euro area and declined slightly in the eurozone in May.
- Euro area GDP grew 0.3% in the first quarter, Eurostat reported.
- Germany’s Federal Statistical Office found wholesale prices grew 2.1% in April compared with March.
- The United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics reported the CPI rose 7.8% in the 12 months to April.
- The yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined.
- Rising 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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