10 Things You Need to Know: May 14, 2024

Key data releases this week include: NFIB Small Business Optimism (Tue), PPI (Tue), CPI (Wed), retail sales (Wed), NAHB Housing Market Index (Wed), housing starts (Thu), industrial production (Thu), and leading economic indicators (Fri).


May 9, 2024

Initial claims for unemployment insurance increased to 231,000 in the week ended May 4 from 209,000 in the prior week. It was the highest level since the last week of August 2023 and compared to expectations for 210,000 initial claims in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The number of continued claims for unemployment insurance rose to 1.785 million.


May 10, 2024

The University of Michigan Survey of Consumer Sentiment Index for May posted an initial reading of 67.4 for the month, down from 77.2 in April and well off the Dow Jones consensus call for 76. The move represented a one-month decline of 12.7%. The one-year inflation outlook jumped to 3.5%, up 0.3 percentage point from a month ago to the highest level since November 2023.


May 13, 2024

Analysts are expecting the euro-area economy to expand faster than previously thought as Germany exits stagnation. Economists expect the bloc’s output will rise by 0.7% in 2024, an upwards revision of the previous 0.5% forecast. The survey includes upgrades to outlooks in Germany, where GDP is expected to grow 0.2% from 0.1% previously, as well as France, Italy, and Spain.


May 13, 2024

Even if Biden loses, odds are that most of the IRA will stay intact. Repealing the law or parts of it would require a Republican sweep of Congress and the White House, a prospect that many analysts think is unlikely.

Wells Fargo/ Barron’s

May 13,2024

“We don’t believe the underlying inflation trend is re-accelerating. Supply-chain pressures aren’t easing as rapidly as a year or two ago, but they aren’t building, either. Shelter inflation looks set to moderate further this year, while services ex-housing inflation should benefit from tamer growth in goods-related input costs and gradual loosening in the labor market. We expect to see monthly inflation prints trend lower over the remainder of the year.”


May 7, 2024

Interest rates may need to be left unchanged “for an extended period of time,’ according to Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari. “I would need to see multiple positive inflation readings suggesting that the disinflation process is on track,” before reducing rates, he said. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Susan Collins said, “the recent data lead me to believe this will take more time than previously thought.”


May 10, 2024

President Joe Biden’s top economic adviser pledged Democrats would push to reverse Donald Trump’s corporate tax cuts next year, setting up a battle with Republicans over a tax law with provisions slated to expire at the end of 2025.  “It’s clear we need to end the 2017 tax breaks for the ultra-wealthy and scale back costly permanent corporate tax breaks,” White House National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard said Friday.


May 12, 2024

The 459 companies in the S&P 500 that have posted first-quarter results have reported profits 8.4% higher than expected on average, and 79% of the companies have exceeded profit expectations. Concerns about a recession might have boosted performance as companies shored up their bottom line to prepare for a slowdown.


May 11, 2024

The Federal Reserve has been waiting for housing prices to slow for around a year and a half, and analysts are concerned the correction may never arrive. Only a small number of leases turn over every year, so rent changes are not reflected in inflation in real time. Housing inflation has slowed to 5.6% in March from a peak of 8.2% a year ago, but at a much slower pace than anticipated.