Weekly economic update

Economic Update for September 24, 2018

Highlights of news-making events of the past week, from the economy and profits to Europe and interest rates.

economy

  • Existing home sales remained flat in August, the National Association of Realtors found.
  • Housing starts jumped 9.2% in August, the Census Bureau reported.
  • The Conference Board Leading Economic Index increased in August.

employment

  • Initial jobless claims declined by 3,000 to 201,000 in the week ended September 15, 2018, the Labor Department reported.

profits

  • As of September 13, 2018, of the 499 S&P 500 Index companies reporting second-quarter earnings, 399 — or 79.9% — beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

emotion

  • The European Commission’s Flash Consumer Confidence Indicator for the euro area decreased in September.

europe

  • Construction output increased by 0.3% in the euro area in July, Eurostat reported.
  • Euro area annual inflation fell to 2.0% in August from 2.1% in July, Eurostat stated.
  • Producer price inflation in the United Kingdom declined to 2.9% in August from 3.1% in July, according to the Office for National Statistics.

rates

  • The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose.
  • The Bank of Japan held rates steady.

risks

  • The strengthening U.S. dollar, widening credit spreads, and higher oil prices are putting pressure on select emerging-market countries.
  • Worries of dwindling global spare capacity in oil production may cause prices to spike, risking an inflation scare.
  • The Fed appears to be on course to invert the yield curve.