Market Review – March 2019
ECONOMY: US economic growth decelerated to close out 2018 and recent data points to a sluggish start to the year. US GDP expanded by 2.6% during Q4 2018, which is lower than the increase of 3.4% in Q3 2018. Economic data largely missed expectations in February as the Citi Economic Surprise Index declined to its lowest levels since 2017. Consumer sentiment, ISM manufacturing, and employment growth headlined the slowdown in data.
Global equities expanded their 2019 gains as February proved to be another solid month for risk assets. The S&P 1500 Index, a good representation of the US stock market, advanced 3.31% for the month. International stocks also moved higher with the MSCI All Country World Index ex US increasing 1.95%.
US Bonds exhibited mixed performance in February as the Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index declined 0.06% for the month. Treasury yields inched higher and traded in a narrow range during the month.