It has been a pretty quiet week of economic data so far, but the week closes out on a busy and what will ultimately be an ugly note.  Reports on the calendar for tomorrow include Retail Sales, Industrial Production, and Capacity Utilization, which all cover the month of April.  In addition to those reports, data for May includes Empire Manufacturing and preliminary Michigan Confidence.  April was the peak period of the economic shutdowns, and the data will highlight that.  Retail sales is expected to show its largest m/m declines on record (dating back to 1990), building on already weak readings from March.  The history for Industrial Production goes all the way back to 1920, and even with 100 years of data (including the Great Depression), there has never been another month where it saw a larger m/m decline at least based on current estimates. Likewise, data for Capacity Utilization goes back to WWII, and that too will likely be the weakest on record.  With all the weak hard data, it’s somewhat surprising to see that Michigan Confidence is only expected to fall to its lowest level since 2011.  In any other time, a nine-year low reading in an economic indicator would be notable enough, but in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s peanuts.  Start a free trial to Bespoke’s premium platform for full access to our stock market analysis and interactive tools.

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