Weekly Market Update: January 16, 2018
Lessons From Last Week
- Last week’s economic reports (retail sales, inventory building and consumer prices) pointed to still firmer GDP growth in the fourth quarter. The consensus of Q4 estimates is moving into the 3 to 4 percent range.
- Weekly applications for unemployment benefits are choppy around year-end, owing to holiday schedules and disruptive weather. Nonetheless, they remain in the very low zone of 240,000 to 260,000. The elevated pace of applications for unemployment benefits in recent weeks appears to be concentrated in California, the upper Midwest and the Northeast, and they seem to be tied to disruptions from flooding or harsh winter weather. Still, many of those who have applied for unemployment insurance benefits have yet to show up as unemployed, because the number of people actually drawing unemployment benefits continues to trend down.
What to Expect This Week
- This week’s manufacturing reports are expected to indicate activity in the sector remains brisk. Housing starts may have pulled back in December from unusually elevated levels in earlier months.
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