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Markets and Economy

Nationwide’s Chief of Investment Research and the Nationwide Economics team offer daily and weekly commentary and analysis of the equity and bond markets, including an overview of economic data being released, global market news, commodities and market performance by index returns. These timely insights can help you navigate markets and understand emerging trends.

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Economic Commentary

September Monthly Dashboard: Economic growth decelerates in the face of Delta and supply headwinds

After a strong first half of 2021, the winds have shifted a bit for the economy as the Delta variant and supply constraints have slowed activity. In-person activities have again taken the brunt of virus concerns with modestly reduced spending and hiring across the service sector. Input delays and higher costs continue to hamper manufacturing production and sales, too. This suggest a slowdown for the third quarter, but probably not a significant cooling, with real GDP still projected to expand at a solid 3.5-4.0 percent annualized rate. 

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Capital Market Impact

Sentiment shift leads to market weakness

The S&P 500® Index has declined in eight of the past 10 sessions and has brought the Index below the 50-day moving average for just the second time this year. Despite the weakness, the S&P 500 begins the week just 2.3% below the record high and has returned 19% for the year. Weakness in equities has not yet driven a flight to quality in the bond market, as the 10-year Treasury yield remains above 1.30%. 

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Economic Commentary

Modestly better economic data

The economic data last week showed a bit of a turn toward a brighter outlook for the next few months, and hopefully beyond. To be sure, the Delta variant of Covid is still negatively impacting economic activity, but consumers and businesses are shifting how they move forward rather than putting things on hold as they did during previous Covid surges. This can be seen in regional Federal Reserve bank manufacturing surveys, retail sales, consumer sentiment, and easing inflationary pressures.