By the numbers: The economy this week

Update for December 9, 2019

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


  • Construction spending fell 0.8% in October, according to the Census Bureau.
  • The Markit U.S. PMI Composite Output Index increased to 52.0 in November from 50.9 in October.


  • Initial jobless claims fell by 10,000 to 203,000 in the week ended November 30, 2019, according to the Labor Department.
  • The U.S. added 266,000 jobs and the unemployment rate slipped to 3.5% in November from 3.6% in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


  • As of November 29, 2019, of the 491 S&P 500 Index companies reporting third-quarter earnings, 368 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.


  • The University of Michigan’s preliminary reading of its index of consumer sentiment rose to 99.2 in December from 96.8 in November.


  • Eurostat reported that industrial producer prices rose by 0.1% in the euro area in October.
  • Euro area GDP grew 0.2% in the third quarter, according to Eurostat.
  • The Markit Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index remained unchanged in November at 50.6.
  • The Markit U.K. PMI Composite Output Index fell to 49.3 in November from 50.0 in October.


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


  • The cumulative effect of tariffs and low corporate confidence will increase pressure on global manufacturing.
  • Brexit, Italian debt dynamics, and a fragile European banking system risk tipping Europe back into recession.
  • Weak stimulus in China thus far is showing little sign of slowing the pace of deceleration.