- US stocks fell by 2.1% as worries about the war in Ukraine, inflation, Fed tightening, higher interest rates, and lower profit margins dragged on the market. International markets were off by 1.18% and bonds dropped by 1.23%.
- The Producer Price Index (PPI) was up by a record 11.2% in March, year over year. Vegetables were up by 82%, grain by 40%, meat and fish by 23%.
- The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was up by 8.5% in March compared to the previous year, the biggest increase since 1981. Higher gas prices fueled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused most of the damage.
- The debate is on as to if the economy is booming or busting, or maybe both at the same time.
- Airlines have been booked solid this holiday weekend without pushback on higher fares, according to the President of Delta.
- Consumer sales are up, but not in real (inflation-adjusted) terms.
- Lower-income households are using their credit cards more, indicating they may be struggling with higher prices. Households with incomes under $50,000 spent more on their credit cards on utilities, gasoline, and food.
- Trucking activity indicates a slow-down in activity.
- Hourly earnings are showing the strongest gains among lower income groups.
- Stephanie Pomboy of Market Mavens says that a $41.8 billion surge in consumer credit in February signals that consumers are “now are resorting to desperate measures.”