Global stocks ended the week 1.3% higher.
January US economic data were largely positive. The Leading Economic Index (LEI) grew 0.6% m/m. A rising LEI trend—like we have today—has never preceded a recession in the last 50 years. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.5% y/y and core CPI (excluding volatile food and energy) rose 2.3% y/y. Retail sales beat expectations, suggesting strong consumer demand. Industrial production fell 0.3% m/m, missing expectations for no change. US housing starts contracted 2.6% m/m and missed expectations, however the fall was largely tied to the difficult comparison to December’s double-digit growth. Building permits accelerated ahead of expectations.
The UK unemployment rate held at 4.8% in January, while jobless claims dropped despite expectations for a slight uptick. January UK headline CPI increased 1.8% y/y and core CPI rose 1.6% y/y. January retail sales dropped 0.3% m/m, missing expectations. Eurozone Q4 2016 GDP was revised down to 0.4% q/q from 0.5% in the initial estimate. Nevertheless, the reading marks the eurozone’s fifteenth consecutive quarter of growth. December eurozone trade increased as exports and imports rose. December industrial production and construction output fell on a monthly basis.
Japanese Q4 2016 GDP grew an annualized 1.0% q/q, narrowly missing expectations but marking the country’s fourth consecutive quarter of growth. Japan’s December industrial production rose faster than estimated, 0.7% m/m. January Chinese CPI accelerated to 2.5% y/y, ahead of estimates and hitting a new multi-year high.
Economic data reports will be light in the US holiday-shortened week. The US releases January home sales data. The eurozone posts January CPI and February Purchasing Manager’s Indexes. Japan announces January trade.
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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 a Luxembourg tax basis. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. A risk of loss is involved with investments in stock markets.