Outlooks – April 2024 Edition

Most of the data released in March showed the economy is back on track after a slightly bumpy start to the year. Non-farm payrolls exceeded expectations by more than 100k jobs (when including two-month net revisions) and the unemployment rate dropped by 0.1%. Factory, durable and capital goods orders all beat expectations, while retail sales rebounded nicely from January’s negative values. February also marked the first time in 16 months that the ISM manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) moved into expansionary territory. Most importantly, core personal consumption expenditures price index (core PCE), the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, was in line with expectations and decreased year-over-year.

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