By the numbers: The economy this week

Update for February 22, 2021

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


  • Retail sales increased 5.3% in January, compared with December, the Census Bureau stated in an advance estimate.
  • The Census Bureau found that housing starts dropped 6.0% in January, compared with December.
  • The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 1.3% in January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
  • The Federal Reserve noted that industrial production increased 0.9% in January.


  • Initial jobless claims reached 861,000 in the week ended February 13, 2021, according to the Labor Department.


  • As of February 11, 2021, of the 372 S&P 500 Index companies reporting fourth-quarter earnings, 293 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.


  • The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany increased in February.


  • Eurostat reported that the euro area posted a trade surplus in December.
  • Euro area GDP decreased 0.6% in the fourth quarter, according to Eurostat.
  • Euro area industrial production fell 1.6% in December, compared with November, Eurostat stated.


  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee noted in its January minutes that, “the pace of the recovery in economic activity and employment had moderated in recent months.”


  • A slowdown in the pace of mobility gains globally due to regional virus case spikes will continue to act as a drag on economic 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.

All economic and performance information is historical and does not guarantee future results. The views and opinions expressed are those of Putnam Investments, are subject to change with market conditions, and are not meant as investment advice.

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