Monthly Market Update (February): 3 Things You Need to Know

February was a month of two halves. Hawkish central banks, high inflation and a strong U.S. jobs report dominated the first half of the month. However, the Russia/Ukraine situation has taken over the narrative for the second half of the month and has carried over into March. Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Ukraine.

Here are 3 things you need to know:

  1. Real gross domestic product (GDP) for all of 2021 grew by 5.7%, compared with a contraction of 3.4% in 2020, when the pandemic set in.
  2. The growth outlook remains strong even after factoring in the expected pace of Federal Reserve rate hikes, with the labor market providing ample evidence of strength.
  3. The Consumer Price Index in the United States rose by 7.5% in January compared with January 2021, the largest such increase in 40 years. Inflation should peak in the first half of 2022.


  1. Sources: J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Economic Update; Bureau of Economic Analysis (; Bureau of Labor Statistics (; Federal Open Market Committee (
  2. Indices:
    • The Barclays Aggregate Bond Index is a broad-based index used as a proxy for the U.S. bond market. Total return quoted.
    • The S&P 500 is designed to be a leading indicator of U.S. equities and is commonly used as a proxy for the U.S. stock market. Price return quoted.
    • The MSCI ACWI ex-US Index captures large and mid-cap representation across 22 of 23 developed market countries (excluding the U.S.) and 27 emerging market countries.  The index covers approximately 85% of the global equity opportunity set outside the U.S. Price return quoted.
    • The MSCI Emerging Markets Index captures large and mid-cap segments in 26 emerging markets. Price return quoted (USD).

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