- Manufacturing and services growth during April slowed to a seven-month low, according to preliminary readings of Markit’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI). Orders waned within both sectors, while hiring within services was particularly weak.
- Housing starts dropped by a worse-than-expected 6.8% in March to the lowest level since November, due to adverse weather, labor shortages and rising materials prices. Permits, however, grew by 3.6% for the month — a possible indication of a future bounce back for homebuilders.
- Existing-home sales surged by 4.4% in March to the best rate since February 2007, driven by condo sales. Single-family-home sales were also strong.
- The Philadelphia Fed Survey showed slower, but continued manufacturing growth in the region during April. New orders decelerated most significantly, while employment expanded.
- Industrial production rose by a better-than-expected 0.5% in March. Utilities gained a record 8.6%, but manufacturing fell by 0.4% after severe storms struck the Northeast. Motor vehicles and parts production, which shrank by 3%, also disappointed.
- Initial jobless claims increased by 10,000 to 244,000 in the week ending April 15. The four-week moving average (considered a more reliable gauge of unemployment) dropped by 4,250 to 243,000. Continuing claims moved lower by 2,000 to 2.024 million for the week ending April 8, reaching a 17-year low.
- The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators recorded a better-than-expected 0.4% in March — the third straight monthly increase — pointing to continued economic strengthening.
- Mortgage purchase applications fell by 3.0% in the week ending April 14, despite mortgage rates falling to their lowest levels in five months. Refinancing applications rose by a slight 0.2%, but remain down 41.5% year over year.
- U.K. retail sales slid by 1.8% in April as rising inflation caused consumers to rein in spending. Non-food sales, excluding auto fuel, narrowed by 2.4%. Almost all sectors declined for the month, with only non-specialized stores showing gains.
- Industrial production in the eurozone was unchanged in April. Sustained strength in manufacturing due to new orders offset a slight drop in services, where new-business growth decelerated.
- China’s gross domestic product rose by 1.3% in the first quarter and by 6.9% year over year. A combination of construction, retail sales and industrial production helped drive growth. Industrial production also edged up by 0.83% in March and by 7.6% year over year, on solid output growth in manufacturing.
- Japanese manufacturing improved in April, according to preliminary PMI estimates, remaining at a level consistent with expansion for the eighth consecutive month. Output and new orders increased, while hiring within the sector nearly reached a three-year high.
RubinBrown Wealth Advisors help clients identify, prioritize and achieve their financial goals and objectives utilizing an experienced group of professionals that can integrate income taxes, estate taxes, financial planning, risk management and investment management needs, all in one place, throughout their lifetimes.
RubinBrown Advisors may only transact business in any state if we are first registered, excluded or exempted from the applicable registration requirements. Follow-up, individual responses or rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation will not be made absent compliance with applicable state registration requirements or an applicable exemption or exclusion.
All Market Updates