By the numbers: The economy this week

Update for October 19, 2020

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

economy

  • The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.4% in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found.
  • The CPI and core CPI both rose 0.2% in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated.
  • Retail sales increased 1.9% in September, according to an advance report from the Census Bureau.

employment

  • Initial jobless claims reached 898,000 in the week ended October 10, 2020, the Department of Labor announced.

profits

  • As of October 8, 2020, of 22 S&P 500 companies reporting third-quarter earnings, 19 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

emotion

  • The University of Michigan’s preliminary index of consumer sentiment rose to 81.2 in October from 80.4 in September.
  • The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index improved in September.

europe

  • Eurostat reported that euro area industrial production rose 0.7% in August compared with July.
  • The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany declined in October.
  • Germany’s Federal Statistical Office reported that wholesale prices fell 1.8% year over year in September.

rates

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

risks

  • A slowdown in the pace of mobility gains globally due to regional virus case spikes will continue to act as a drag on economic recovery.
  • The liquidity-fueled recovery in risk assets will at some point need to resolve with the pace of recovery in fundamentals, and the latter may happen over a longer horizon than hoped.
  • The possibility of a "blue wave" in the U.S. November election, with Democrats winning control of the House, Senate, and Presidency, could mean a future rollback of corporate tax cuts.