- Japan: First Ten Days Trade (Mar), International Trade, Foreign Banks Foreign Banks in Japan (Feb)
- New Zealand: Tourism Expenditure, International Reserves, RBNZ Analytical Accounts/Statistical Balance Sheet, Foreign Currency Assets, Liabilities, and Currency Flows (Feb); Australia: Flow of Funds (Q4), Job Vacancies (Q1)
- Korea: Building Permits (Feb); Philippines: LFS (Q3)
- US: IIP (Q4)
- more updates...
Economy in Brief
U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Remain Little Changed; Variable Rate Apps Surge
The MBA total Mortgage Market Volume Index slipped 0.8% last week (-12.4% y/y)...
La Dolce Vita? Italian Confidence Bumps Higher
Italian business and consumer confidence moved higher in March...
U.S. Consumer Confidence Improves Significantly
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index for March strengthened 8.2% (30.7% y/y) to 125.6...
U.S. Energy Product Prices Remain Under Pressure
Regular gasoline prices held steady at $2.32 per gallon last week (12.1% y/y) for the third straight week...
German Federal Debt Levels Fall
German debt level fell outright in Q4 2016 as the ratio of federal debt-to-GDP also fell...
NABE 2018 Forecast: Modest Improvement in Economic Growth & Higher Inflation
The NABE expects 2.5% real U.S. economic growth in 2018 compared to 2.3% forecast for 2017...
by Robert Brusca March 28, 2016
Living condition assessments for the past 12 months as well as those expected for the next 12 months slipped in March. The past 12-month response holds a 35th percentile standing; the next 12-month has a 30th percentile standing. However, improving were unemployment expectations as that response index fell to 42 in March from 46 in February to a 46th percentile standing- below its median value (which occurs at a 50th percentile ranking). The fear of unemployment is fading.
The response for `favorable to save' stayed at -2 at an extremely weak 1.3 percentile standing. The ability to save response fell to -10 in March from -76 previously to post a 47th percentile standing.
The spending environment stayed at its -12 reading and at a 68th percentile standing.
Households rate their financial situation as unchanged at -25 for 12-months ago, the same as they did last month. For 12-months ahead the index fell to -14 from -10 in February. The standing of the 12-month ago index is in its 36th percentile while for 12-months ahead there is a 25th percentile standing index. Both are weak.
Summing up the survey results
On balance, household responses to the survey questions this month are poor. The overall index slipped by just one point in March, but that is after slipping by two points one month ago. There is a two-month string of losses. Still, the overall index has been in a range of 94 to 97 since April 2015. In March 2015, one year ago the index was busy transiting to a higher level as it reached 93 after having been as low as 86 just five short months before that. The chart shows the string of strong increases then followed by the more recent move to an even higher level and the very recent step-down from that. While the recent upward momentum is `still mostly in-place', the problem is that even on that optimistic assessment of momentum, the levels for household confidence are still extremely low. On balance, that leaves little to like in this report apart from the reduced probability of unemployment that households see. They find that they are `worse off' in a variety of ways but have much of a fear of the ultimate loss, that of their jobs. And that counts for something.