What else happened last week?Oil gained on word from OPEC Oil prices experienced their largest weekly gains in 2017, ending above $50 a barrel. This growth is largely a result of speculation that OPEC (an intergovernmental organization of 13 oil-producing countries) will continue its agreement to curb oil output. By reducing supply, the nations aim to reduce the supply glut that drives prices down. Q4 GDP increased with revisions The final revisions for fourth quarter GDP beat expectations, coming in at 2.1% – up from the previous estimates of 1.9% growth. This plodding growth is in keeping with the economic recovery we have experienced the past several years. Inflation hit a key Fed benchmark When deciding on monetary policy, the Federal Reserve pays close attention to the PCE deflator, an inflation measurement from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They want to see this data above 2%. We learned last week that in February the PCE deflator hit this level for the first time since 2012. If this trend continues, we could see additional interest rate increases this year. Consumer confidence and sentiment remained high The Conference Board’s March readings for consumer confidence jumped to the highest levels since December 2000, surprising economists who expected the reading to decline from February. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment readings also showed an increase for March. However, the Michigan survey’s chief economist pointed out that participants’ sentiment showed a deep partisan divide. With confidence and uncertainty seemingly split along party lines, the effect on spending behaviors remains to be seen. So far, the first quarter of 2017 has brought market growth and several positive economic data reports – coupled with heated policy debates occurring in government and the media. Moving forward, we will continue to seek the best opportunities to pursue your goals and keep you informed with the information you need to help make solid decisions.
ECONOMIC CALENDARMonday: PMI Manufacturing Index, ISM Manufacturing Index, Construction Spending Tuesday: Motor Vehicle Sales, Factory Orders Wednesday: ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Friday: Employment Situation
Quote Of The Week
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream another dream.” – C.S. Lewis