By the numbers: The economy this week

Update for April 15, 2019

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


  • Both import and export prices rose in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated.
  • The CPI increased 0.4% and core CPI rose 0.1% in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted.
  • The Census Bureau reported that factory orders fell 0.5% in February.


  • Initial jobless claims fell by 8,000 to 196,000 in the week ended April 6, 2019, according to the Department of Labor.


  • As of April 5, 2019, the estimated earnings decline for the first quarter for the S&P 500 Index is -4.2%, according to FactSet.


  • The University of Michigan’s preliminary index of consumer sentiment fell to 96.9 in April from 98.4 in March.
  • The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index improved in March.


  • Eurostat reported that euro area industrial production fell 0.2% in February.
  • Germany’s Federal Statistical Office noted that wholesale prices jumped 1.8% year over year in March.
  • Industrial production increased 0.2% in the United Kingdom in the three months to February, according to the Office for National Statistics.


  • The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee decided to hold on rate moves in light of economic and inflation data, minutes of the March meeting showed.
  • The European Central Bank held rates steady.


  • No resolution to China trade war, or opening a new front with Europe on autos, risks more equity market turmoil.
  • Brexit, Italian debt dynamics, and the re-emergence of populism risk tipping Europe back into recession.
  • Weak stimulus in China thus far is showing little sign of slowing the pace of deceleration.