Personal Wealth Management / Weekly Wrap-Up

Fisher Investments Reviews: Last Week in Markets—February 26 - March 1

Fisher Investments recaps the biggest market, political and economic news from last week, including US GDP data, eurozone inflation data and UK money supply (M4) data.

In the US, the final February S&P Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was revised up to 52.2 (readings above 50 indicate expansion). New home sales rose 1.5% m/m in January, exceeding expectations. January preliminary durable goods orders fell 6.1% m/m—below forecasts. The second estimate of Q4 2023 GDP was revised to 3.2% annualized—slightly below the 3.3% first estimate. Despite the small downward revision, the underlying drivers for the revision seem pretty good, in our view. Inventories were revised down, but based on Q4 earnings calls, it seems reasonable to say this was due to stronger than expected demand. Additionally, consumer spending’s contribution to Q4 GDP was revised higher (but not enough to outweigh inventories’ downward revision). For more, please see our 2/29/2024 commentary “A Leap Day Data Roundup.”

In the UK, the final February S&P Global Manufacturing PMI was 47.5, higher than the preliminary estimate. January money supply (M4) decreased 0.1% y/y. In the eurozone, the final February HCOB Manufacturing PMI was 46.5, above the initial estimate. February preliminary headline consumer prices rose 2.6% y/y, while preliminary core consumer prices (which excludes food, energy, alcohol and tobacco) rose 3.1% y/y—both above expectations. January money supply (M3) rose 0.1% y/y—lower than forecasts. The January unemployment rate declined slightly to 6.4%.

In Japan, the final February Jibun Bank Manufacturing PMI was 47.2, in line with the initial estimate. Preliminary January industrial production fell 7.5% m/m and 1.5% y/y, both below forecasts. Preliminary January retail sales rose 0.8% m/m and 2.3% y/y. The January unemployment rate remained at 2.4%. January headline consumer prices rose 2.2% y/y, while core-core consumer prices (which excludes fresh food and energy) increased 3.5% y/y. In China, the February Caixin Manufacturing PMI was 50.9. The official February NBS Manufacturing and Services PMIs—focused on large, state-owned firms—came in at 49.1 and 51.4, respectively.

The Week Ahead:

The US, UK, eurozone, Japan and China release final February services PMIs. The US reports February nonfarm payrolls and unemployment. The eurozone posts January trade and retail sales data. The eurozone also releases its third estimate of Q4 2023 GDP while Japan announces its second estimate. Japan and China release February lending data. China also reports February consumer prices and money supply (M2) figures. The European Central Bank meets to set monetary policy.

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.

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