Fisher Investments recaps the biggest market, political and economic news from last week, including US GDP and Japanese LEI data.
Global markets rose this week amid few data releases. In the US, the first estimate of Q1 2019 GDP was announced at 3.2% y/y, beating expectations of 2.8% y/y and increasing from Q4 2018. Preliminary March durable goods orders rose 2.7% m/m after falling in February. March new home sales increased 4.5% m/m, above expectations of a 2.5% m/m drop.
European data were minimal and headlines focused on the upcoming European Union parliamentary elections in May. Despite populist fears, we believe the most likely outcome is reduced uncertainty and continued gridlock—bullish for stocks. For more, see our 04/26/2019 commentary, “Populists Bullishly ‘Pancake’ Eurozone Politics.”
In Japan, the February leading economic index was revised down slightly to 97.1. Preliminary readings show March retail sales grew 1.0% y/y, above estimates and higher than February’s reading. Industrial production fell 0.9% m/m. Revisions to March imports and exports were mixed, increasing 1.2% y/y and declining 2.4% y/y, respectively. March unemployment remained steady at 2.5%. As expected, the Bank of Japan left monetary policy unchanged, including its asset purchase program.
The Week Ahead:
US data releases include April Markit manufacturing and services Purchasing Manager’s Indexes (PMIs). The eurozone announces preliminary Q1 2019 GDP and manufacturing PMIs. The UK releases money supply and April manufacturing and construction PMIs. The Bank of England holds their monthly policy meeting. China releases April manufacturing and services PMIs.
Source for all data cited is FactSet. This update constitutes the general views of Fisher Investments and should not be regarded as personalized investment advice. No assurances are made we will continue to hold these views, which may change at any time based on new information, analysis or reconsideration. In addition, no assurances are made regarding the accuracy of any forecast made herein. Global equities are represented by the MSCI World Index. The MSCI World Index measures the performance of selected stocks in 23 developed countries and is presented net of dividend withholding taxes and uses the maximum rate applicable to non-resident institutional investors who do not benefit from double taxation treaties. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. A risk of loss is involved with investments in stock markets.