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Bob Carey
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  US Economy and Credit Markets Ended December 14, 2018
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary

Economic data released on Friday from China and Europe exacerbated concerns that economic growth will slow in 2019. In China, growth in industrial production and retail sales slowed while the euro-area composite Purchasing Managers' Index unexpectedly fell in Europe. This came after the European Central Bank cut its economic growth forecasts on Thursday, with ECB President Mario Draghi saying "It's a climate of great uncertainty." The slowdown is at odds with the ECB's decision to end its bond-buying program this month, which was signaled earlier this year. However, the ECB confirmed it will keep key interest rates unchanged at least through the summer of 2019. Conversely, retail sales growth was strong in the U.S., coming in slightly ahead of expectations. This week, the FOMC meets on Tuesday and Wednesday and is expected to raise rates for the fourth time this year. Major economic reports (related consensus forecasts, prior data) for the upcoming week include Monday: December Empire Manufacturing Index (20.0, 23.3); Tuesday: November Housing Starts (1,230k, 1,228k); Wednesday: December 19 FOMC Rate Decision - Upper Bound (2.50%, 2.25%), December 14 MBA Mortgage Applications (N/A, 1.6%), November Existing Home Sales (5.20m, 5.22m); Thursday: December 15 Initial Jobless Claims (219k, 206k), November Leading Index (0.1%, 0.1%); Friday: 3Q GDP Annualized QoQ (3.5%, 3.5%), December Final U. of Mich. Sentiment (97.5, 97.5), November Preliminary Durable Goods Orders (1.7%, -4.3%), November Personal Income (0.3%, 0.5%), November Personal Spending (0.3%, 0.6%).
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2018 @ 8:12 AM • Post Link Share: 
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These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
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