This Weekly Market Update reviews the top market headlines: Inflation Shows No Let-Up, Consumer Sentiment Keeps Sliding, U.S. Trade Deficit Pushed to Record High in January

Top Three Market Headlines

Inflation Shows No Let-Up: The U.S. Department of Labor reported last week that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.8% in February from the prior month; on an annual (year-over-year) basis, the increase was 7.9%, a level not reached since 1982. The “core” CPI, which excludes energy and food costs, registered a 0.5% increase on the month and 6.4% on an annual basis, an acceleration from the 6.0% annual pace reported the previous month. The largest contributors to the February CPI increase included gasoline prices, food, transportation services, and apparel.

Consumer Sentiment Keeps Sliding: The Index of Consumer Sentiment published by the University of Michigan slipped to 59.7 in March, down from 62.8 in February. This was the third straight monthly decline in the index, which has now fallen more than 30% since April of last year. The index is based on surveys of consumers regarding their outlook on the U.S. economy. The March report highlighted that inflation has been the main driver of consumers' diminished optimism, noting that consumers expect prices to rise 5.4% in the coming year, the highest such estimate among survey respondents in 40 years.

U.S. Trade Deficit Pushed to Record High in January: The U.S. trade deficit widened to a record $89.7 billion in January, an increase of 9.4% from the prior month, according to data released last week by the U.S. Commerce Department. Imports of goods and services rose 1.2% to $315 billion, led by increased demand for foreign-made vehicles as well as industrial supplies like crude oil, natural gas, and copper. Meanwhile, exports fell by 1.7% to $224 billion, as demand for U.S.-produced consumer goods, notably pharmaceuticals, decreased over the month.

As of March 14, 2022 Week Quarter-To-Date Year-To-Date One-Year
MSCI All Country World -2.27% -11.88% -11.88% -0.21%
S&P 500 -2.84% -11.53% -11.53% 8.24%
Russell 2000 -1.03% -11.66% -11.66% -14.47%
MSCI EAFE .55% -12.18% -12.18% -5.80%
MSCI Emerging Markets -5.08% -11.68% -11.68% -18.31%
FTSE NAREIT -1.46% -8.55% -8.55% 21.91%
Bloomberg Commodity -0.49% 27.51% 27.51% 46.62%
Barclays U.S. Aggregate -1.76% -4.79% -4.79% -3.52%

Bloomberg 3/11/22, WSJ 3/10/22, CNBC 3/10/22, Census.Gov 3/8/21, Univ. of Michigan Surveys of Consumers, 2/11/22. Data from Morningstar Direct. Returns for periods greater than one year are annualized. Investment advisory, named and independent fiduciary services are offered through Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC does not express an investment opinion regarding any specific commodity, sector or individual security. Unless otherwise expressly noted, the contents of this communication do not constitute securities or investment advice, nor should this communication be construed as an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC is a single-member, limited-liability company, with Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. as its single member. Neither Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC nor their affiliates provide accounting, legal or tax advice. The information provided cannot take into account all the various factors that may affect your particular situation, therefore you should consult your Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors consultant before acting upon any information or recommendation contained herein to discuss the suitability of the information/recommendation for your specific situation.