Global stocks rose amid mixed economic data. In the US, data were light. The first estimate of Q4 2018 GDP showed an increase of 2.6% q/q annualized, beating expectations. February’s Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 53.0 (readings over 50 indicate expansion). December wholesale inventories beat estimates, rising 1.1% m/m. December durable goods orders rose 1.2% m/m, in line with forecasts.
In the eurozone, February preliminary core consumer prices (excluding food and energy) rose 1.0% y/y. The February Markit manufacturing PMI ticked down to 49.3. Although on its face this contraction might seem concerning, readings below 50 don’t necessarily portend larger problems. For more, see our 2/21/2019 MarketMinder article, “ Some Perspective on the Alleged 'Industrial Recession'.” In January, the unemployment rate remained at 7.8%, while money supply (M3) grew 3.8% y/y. In the UK, the February Markit/CIPS manufacturing PMI came in at 52.0, down from the prior reading but in line with expectations.
In Japan, January preliminary industrial production remained flat year-over-year. The February Nikkei manufacturing PMI was reported at 48.9, above estimates. Preliminary January retail sales fell 2.3% m/m. In China, February Caixin manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMIs were 49.9 and 54.3, respectively.
The Week Ahead:
The US announces the February Markit services PMI, January factory orders and December trade data. The eurozone releases January retail sales and the third estimate of Q4 2018 GDP. The UK publishes the February Markit services PMI. Japan reports the February Nikkei services PMI, final Q4 2018 GDP and February bank lending. China posts February inflation and trade data.
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.