By the numbers: The economy this week

Update for April 5, 2021

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

economy

  • Pending home sales fell 10.6% in February, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  • The Markit U.S. Manufacturing PMI rose to 59.1 in March from 58.6 in February.

employment

  • The U.S. added 916,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 6.0% in March from 6.2% in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Initial jobless claims reached 719,000 in the week ended March 27, 2021, the Labor Department reported.

profits

  • As of March 31, 2021, of the 500 S&P 500 Index companies reporting fourth-quarter earnings, 384 beat analysts’ expectations, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

emotion

  • The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index jumped in March.

europe

  • The European Commission’s Economic Sentiment Indicator improved sharply in March.
  • Eurostat reported that annual inflation was expected to rise to 1.3% in March, up from 0.9% in February.
  • Germany’s Federal Statistical Office noted that inflation rate is expected to increase 1.7% year over year in March.

rates

  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note traded in a narrow range.

risks

  • Divergent vaccination rollout timelines and virus mutations risk causing a shift from a synchronized global recovery to a more fractured regional multi-speed recovery.
  • Global leverage, created by pandemic response packages, is at worrisome levels and eventually will need to be paid for.
  • Pandemic and financial repression policies have exacerbated global wealth inequality.