Q4 GDP was revised slightly upward to 4.3% annualized, up from 4.1% previously.
As expected, based on retail sales data and December’s stimulus hitting in January, both Personal Income and Personal Spending declined in February. Expectations are for a significant rebound when March data becomes available, which is likely to push quarterly growth to some of the strongest on record. Underlying the spending report, services made up some ground with the economy reopening, partially offsetting the weakness in goods.
Initial jobless claims fell below 700K for the first time since March 2020, before the COVID crisis began. This beat economist estimates, which were expecting 730K, and was a notable improvement from 781K the week prior.
Oil prices got whipped around as the Suez canal continues to be blocked, likely until mid-next week, halting transport through one of the busiest waterways in the world while providing the internet with a new viral meme.