Economic Notes for the Week of April 16th

It was a somewhat quiet ‘in-between’ week for economic news, as most of the focus was on markets and an upcoming earnings season.

The Small Business Optimism Index, while not always in the news, became a catalyst for market activity early in the week, as it fell from 94.3 to 92.5 for March.

Import prices were higher than expected in March at +1.3% (although February’s gain was revised down to a negative number)—mostly due to oil and raw materials being priced higher.  Other prices carried through and were higher as well, such as vehicles and vehicle parts and other finished consumer goods.  The year-over-year increase was +3.4%, which ties into broader inflation readings. Read more