Weekly economic update for May 23, 2022


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


economy
  • Retail sales rose 0.9% in April compared with March, the Census Bureau noted in an advance report.
  • The Conference Board Leading Economic Index fell in April.
  • Existing home sales dropped 2.4% in April compared with March, the National Association of Realtors found.


Employment
  • Initial jobless claims rose by 21,000 to 218,000 in the week ended May 14, 2022, the Department of Labor reported.


Profits
  • As of May 12, 2022, of the 456 S&P 500 Index companies reporting first-quarter earnings, 353 beat analysts’ estimates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.


Emotion
  • The European Commission’s Flash Consumer Confidence Indicator rose in the euro area and declined slightly in the eurozone in May.


Europe
  • Euro area GDP grew 0.3% in the first quarter, Eurostat reported.
  • Germany’s Federal Statistical Office found wholesale prices grew 2.1% in April compared with March.
  • The United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics reported the CPI rose 7.8% in the 12 months to April.


Rates
  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined.


Risks
  • Rising energy prices, worsened by the Russia-Ukraine War, increase the risk of stagflation and recession, even as central banks seek monetary policy normalization.
  • Declining liquidity and deteriorating financial conditions, combined with high valuations, are contributing to a substantial uptick in risk asset volatility.
  • Global leverage is at worrisome levels and will eventually need to be paid for, at a time when most developed markets are facing a fiscal drag from the end of post-pandemic stimulus.


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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.