Highlights of key economic statistics from last week compiled by Putnam Investments.
- Housing starts grew 1.4% in December compared with November, according to the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- Existing home sales fell 4.6% in December, the National Association of Realtors reported.
- The Conference Board Leading Economic Index increased in December.
- Initial jobless claims increased by 55,000 to 286,000 in the week ended January 15, 2022, the Department of Labor reported.
- As of January 13, 2022, of the 24 S&P 500 Index companies reporting fourth-quarter earnings, 19 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
- The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany rose significantly in January.
- Eurostat reported the euro area annual inflation rate increased to 5.0% in December from 4.9% in November.
- Euro area construction output declined by 0.2% in November compared with October, according to Eurostat.
- Germany’s Federal Statistical Office found producer prices rose 5.0% in December compared with November.
- The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell.
- Upward pressure on inflation from multiple fronts (supply chain disruptions, housing costs, and the labor market) could pressure central banks to pull forward their timelines for monetary policy normalization.
- Declining liquidity and deteriorating financial conditions, combined with high valuations, should lead to a substantial uptick in risk asset volatility.
- Global leverage, created by pandemic response packages, is at worrisome levels and will eventually need to be paid for.
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