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Bob Carey
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  US Economy and Credit Markets Ended March 18, 2022
Posted Under: Weekly Market Commentary
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The Fed raised rates last week by a quarter-percentage-point, as expected, for the first time since 2018 and signaled rate hikes at all six of its remaining meetings this year. Treasury yields, particularly those with shorter maturities, moved higher with the Fed being seen as more hawkish than expected. Inflation data released before the meeting showed the Producer Price Index increased 10% over the last year through February. Most of the increase came from an increase in energy prices. January's increase was also revised up to 10%, which is the highest increase on record back to 2010. Retail sales grew 0.3% in February over the prior month, slowing from January's strong increase of 4.9%. Excluding gas stations, however, retail sales fell 0.2% in February over the prior month. Nonetheless, retail sales are up 16% compared to last year, excluding gas stations, suggesting consumers are still on a strong footing. Oil prices declined for the second consecutive week, closing below $100 multiple times during the week, and are now about 15% below their highs this year. Major economic reports (related consensus forecasts, prior data) for the upcoming week include Wednesday: March 18 MBA Mortgage Applications (N/A, -1.2%), February New Home Sales (815k, 801k); Thursday: March 19 Initial Jobless Claims (211k, 214k), February Preliminary Durable Goods Orders (-0.5%, 1.6%), March Preliminary S&P Global US Manufacturing PMI (56.5, 57.3); Friday: March Final U. of Mich. Sentiment (59.7, 59.7).
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2022 @ 9:02 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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