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Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary: The U.S. Economy Had Solid Momentum Ahead of Russia’s Invasion

Summary

United States: The U.S. Economy Had Solid Momentum Ahead of Russia’s Invasion

  • February’s employment data showed the economy had strong momentum ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and amid the Fed’s shift to a more hawkish tone on monetary policy. Nonfarm employment surged by 678,000 jobs, and job growth over the prior two months was revised higher by 92,000 jobs. This week’s factory orders and ISM manufacturing survey also pointed to strengthening momentum in the factory sector.
  • Next week: Trade Balance (Tuesday), CPI (Thursday), U. of Mich. Consumer Sentiment (Friday)

International: Bank of Canada Kicks Off Rate Hike Cycle

  • Canada’s Q4 GDP came in stronger than expected in the fourth quarter, rising 6.7% quarter-over-quarter and setting the stage for the Bank of Canada’s (BoC) monetary policy meeting. The central bank kicked off its rate hike cycle at its March monetary policy meeting with an initial, and widely expected, 25-bp policy rate increase to 0.50%.
  • Next week: Brazil CPI (Tuesday), Mexico CPI (Wednesday), ECB Rate Decision (Thursday)

Interest Rate Watch: Rates on a Roller Coaster Ride

  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week, followed by wide-ranging and severe sanctions placed on Russia by numerous Western countries, sent global bond yields into motion this week.

Credit Market Insights: Russia-Ukraine War Increases Market Volatility

  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted sweeping financial and economic sanctions. S&P Global cut the Russian government’s rating to junk, while Moody’s has issued a junk warning. In reaction, credit default swaps on Russia’s shorter-term government debt has risen to record levels.

Topic of the Week: A Climb Down from Inflation Highs Resisted by Bread and Butter

  • Food commodities have been a strong driver of inflation over the past two years, and the CPI for food has risen at the strongest pace in nearly 40 years, tacking on one percentage point to the 7.5% year-over-year increase in headline CPI in January.

Full report here.

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