This Weekly Financial Markets Update reviews the top market headlines: US. Economic Growth Slows in Q1, Home Prices Flat in February, Consumer Indexes Mixed in April

Top Three Market Headlines

U.S. Economic Growth Slows in Q1: The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported last week that real (inflation-adjusted) U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of all goods and services produced, rose at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.1% in the calendar quarter ended March 31, 2023. While this was the third consecutive quarter of growth, the pace slowed from the prior reading in Q4 2022 of 2.6%. Positive contributions in Q1 came from consumer spending and an increase in government spending. Conversely, overall growth was slowed by materially lower spending by businesses on inventories.

Home Prices Flat in February: Home prices across major U.S. metropolitan areas posted a modest gain of 0.1% in February compared to the prior month, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index. This marked the first monthly increase since June 2022. On an annual basis, however, prices continued their sharp downward trend. The 20-City index rose only 0.4% versus the prior year, down from a 2.6% pace in the previous month; as recently as April 2022, prices had risen at a 21% clip. Lower annual prices were seen in eight of the 20 markets, led by San Francisco (-10.0%) and Seattle (-9.3%). On the other hand, annual price growth remained solid in many Southern cities, including Miami (+10.8%), Atlanta (+6.6%), and Charlotte (+6.0%).

Consumer Indexes Mixed in April: Trends in widely-followed U.S. consumer outlook surveys were mixed in April. The Consumer Confidence Index reported by the Conference Board, a private research group, fell from 104.0 in March to 101.3 in April, as consumers expressed less optimism about business conditions and labor markets. The index remains well off its post-pandemic high of 128.9 in June 2021. Meanwhile, the Index of Consumer Sentiment produced by the University of Michigan rose modestly from 62.0 in March to 63.5 in April. While this index has improved from a recent low of 50.0 in June 2022, it too remains far below its 2021 high of 88.3, posted in April of that year.

As of May 01, 2023 Week Quarter-To-Date Year-To-Date One-Year
MSCI All Country World 0.44% 1.44% 8.85% 0.21%
S&P 500 0.89% 1.56% 9.17% -1.05%
Russell 2000 -1.24% -1.80% -0.89% -6.35%
MSCI EAFE 0.10% 2.82% 11.53% 9.58%
MSCI Emerging Markets -0.27% -1.13% 2.78% -4.52%
FTSE NAREIT Equity 1.49% 0.83% 3.54% -19.06%
Bloomberg Commodity -1.10% -0.75% -6.07% -16.40%
Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate 0.83% 0.61% 3.59% -0.93%

Bureau of Economic Analysis 4/27/2023, S&P Global 4/25/2023, Univ of Michigan 4/28/2023, The Conference Board 4/25/2023, FactSet. Data from Morningstar Direct. Returns for periods greater than one year are annualized. Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC ("GFA") is an SEC Registered Investment Adviser that provides retirement, investment advisory, discretionary/named and independent fiduciary services. GFA is a limited liability company with Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. as its single member. GFA may pay referral fees or other remuneration to employees of AJG or its affiliates or to independent contractors; such payments do not change our fee. Securities may be offered through Triad Advisors, LLC ("Triad"), member FINRA/SIPC. Triad is separately owned and other entities and/or marketing names, products or services referenced here are independent of Triad. Neither Triad, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., GFA, their affiliates nor representatives provide accounting, legal or tax advice.