Weekly economic update for March 20, 2023

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


  • The CPI rose 0.4% and the core CPI increased 0.5% in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
  • The Producer Price Index for final demand declined 0.1% in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found.
  • Retail sales fell 0.4% in February compared with January, the Census Bureau noted in an advance report.


  • Initial jobless claims fell by 20,000 to 192,000 in the week ended March 11, 2023, the Department of Labor reported.


  • As of March 9, 2023, of the 499 S&P 500 Index companies reporting fourth-quarter earnings, 336 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.


  • The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose to 90.9 in February from 90.3 in January.


  • Eurostat noted euro area annual inflation fell to 8.5% in February from 8.6% in January.
  • Eurostat reported euro area industrial production grew 0.7% in January compared with December.
  • Germany’s Federal Statistical Office noted wholesale prices rose 0.1% in February compared with January.


  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined.
  • The European Central Bank raised its key interest rates by 50 basis points.


  • 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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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.