Similar to equity price action, the first half of the week was a bit rough but things finished on much more solid ground for economic data. Small business optimism kicked things off on Monday stronger than both expectations and March’s reading, coming in at 103.5. Other Monday releases weren’t as lucky as they broadly came in weaker. Export and import price inflation worsened in April and mortgage delinquencies rose. Fortunately, foreclosures fell 3 basis points down to 0.92%. Empire Manufacturing started Wednesday with a bang coming in at 17.8, more than double estimates of 8.0. But it wasn’t all good as retail figures for the month of April were weaker across the board and Industrial and Manufacturing Production fell 0.5% alongside weaker Capacity Utilization. Things turned much more positive on Thursday, though, as every release beat expectations. Claims were stronger, the Philly Fed crushed estimates, and Housing Starts and Permits both rose while also beating forecasts. On Friday, Michigan Confidence rose to 102.4 versus expectations of staying at 97.2, ending the week on a very high note. Start a two-week free trial to Bespoke Institutional to access our interactive economic indicators monitor and much more.
Turning to next week, it will be a light data slate with only 14 releases all week. The Chicago Fed releases their National Activity Index Monday morning; the only release that day. Similarly, Existing Home Sales is the sole release Tuesday. Meeting Minutes for the May 1st FOMC meeting will be out Wednesday afternoon. In addition to the standard weekly releases, we will get preliminary Markit PMIs, New Home Sales, and the Kansas City Fed’s Manufacturing Activity Index on Thursday. Preliminary Durable goods for April rounds things off on Friday with weaker data anticipated.