By the numbers: The economy this week

Update for January 13, 2020

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


  • The trade deficit narrowed in November, according to the Census Bureau.
  • Factory orders decreased 0.7% in November, the Census Bureau reported.
  • Durable goods orders fell 2.1% in November, the Census Bureau stated.


  • Initial jobless claims fell by 9,000 to 214,000 in the week ended January 4, 2020, according to the Labor Department.
  • The United States added 145,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.5%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.


  • As of January 7, 2020, fourth-quarter dividends of U.S. stocks increased to $10.6 billion, up from $7.4 billion a year earlier, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. Total S&P 500 Index quarterly dividend payments increased 5.5% year over year in the fourth quarter.


  • Eurozone investor sentiment increased in January, according to the Sentix index of investor morale.


  • The Markit Eurozone Composite PMI Output Index inched up to 50.9 in December from 50.6 in November.
  • Eurostat reported that industrial producer prices increased 0.2% in the euro area in November.
  • Euro area retail trade advanced 1.0% in November, according to Eurostat.
  • Euro area annual inflation rose to 1.3% in November from 1.0% in November, Eurostat stated.


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