Weekly economic update for May 22, 2023

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


  • Housing starts rose 2.2% in April compared with March, the Census Bureau noted.
  • Retail sales rose 0.4% in April compared with March, the Census Bureau stated in an advance report.
  • Industrial production increased 0.5% in April, according to the Federal Reserve.


  • Initial jobless claims fell by 22,000 to 242,000 in the week ended May 13, 2023, the Department of Labor stated.


  • As of May 17, 2023, of the 466 S&P 500 Index companies reporting first-quarter earnings, 357 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.


  • The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany declined in May, reaching a negative level for the first time since December 2022.


  • Euro area annual inflation increased to 7.0% in April from 6.9% in March, Eurostat noted.
  • Eurostat reported euro area GDP grew 0.1% in the first quarter.
  • Eurostat noted euro area industrial production dropped 4.1% in March compared with February.


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


  • Deposit flight continues to pressure banks to tighten lending standards, increasing the potential risk of a credit squeeze.
  • 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.